Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Microsoft reportedly planning low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPad

Microsoft reportedly planning low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPad

Microsoft (MSFT) plans to launch a line of lower-cost tablets to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPad.

The tablets will reportedly sell at a starting point of about $400 and have 10-inch screens and USB connections as well as several options for upgrades. The budget line will have a battery life that's about four hours less than the Pro line.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will supply the processor and graphics chips, according to Bloomberg sources. So if Microsoft makes and sells a low-priced Surface tablet powered by Windows 10, then the manufacturers would have the confidence to invest in tablets powered by Windows 10. Last year Apple sold nearly $20 billion in iPads, whereas Microsoft's professional Surface line sold just $4.4 billion. Needless to say, it will be a good addition to the large portfolio of Surface devices and it would be the most affordable Surface-branded device with Windows 10.

Microsoft shares are down 0.3% to $97.04. Microsoft's entire Surface hardware business produced $4.4 billion for the same period.

Apple launched a new version of the $329 iPad in March, with a faster processor and Apple Pencil stylus support.

Microsoft reportedly planning low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPad
Microsoft reportedly planning low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPad

The current professional-oriented Surface Pro lineup starts at $799. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400. Like the Surface Pro, these models won't be bundled with the company's keyboard cover.

The only tablets that have got a good response from the customers were Apple's iPads. As always, there will also be 64GB or 128GB variants, along with an LTE model for cellular connectivity too. It will have a 10-inch display, and it won't resemble the look of the traditional Surface devices.

With 10-inch screens, the devices would be more diminutive in size than the 12-inch Surface Pro, as well as being 20 percent lighter. The company stopped making it at the end of 2016.

The new line will be part of a growing ecosystem of Microsoft hardware products that, beyond the tablets, includes the Surface Laptop, Surface Book laptop with a detachable screen, and the Surface Studio desktop computer.

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