Microsoft is developing a new Surface tablet that will have a ten inch screen and will retail for $400. The company is hoping a smaller screen a lower price will be able to compete against the entry level iPad. The cheapest version of the current generation Surface Pro starts at $799, compared to the base model 9.7-inch iPad that costs a paltry $329.
Microsoft has tried this before. The software giant kicked off its consumer-oriented hardware push in 2012 with the launch of the original Surface RT. The products did not resonate with consumers and product reviewers, Microsoft pivoted to the more-expensive Surface Pro, a line which has gained steam and likely contributed to demand for the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil in 2015.
Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated almost $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters. Microsoft’s entire Surface hardware business produced $4.4 billion for the same period. According to market researcher IDC, Microsoft sold almost 725,000 tablets in the first quarter of 2018, up 1.8 percent from a year earlier, whereas Apple sold 9.1 million iPads in the same period.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.