Microsoft looks poised to launch a new line of Surface devices with smaller screens and lower price tags. The move is aimed at taking market share from Apple's iPad, which dominates the lower-cost tablet market.
I've heard different things regarding possible screen sizes from my sources, with some saying the same as what Bloomberg is reporting - that the screen size would be about 10 inches. 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.
What's interesting here is the report claims these tablets will ship with Intel processors, and not an ARM chip as so many assumed Microsoft would opt for in a new non-pro Surface device.
Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated nearly $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters.
The new Surface tablets will debut in 2H18.
Microsoft Unveils Its Second-Generation Surface Hub 2
The biggest question about these new Surface devices is why.
In March, Apple launched a new iPad model for $329 geared toward education users.
The current professional-oriented Surface Pro lineup starts at $799. It appears that the Microsoft's Surface-branded tablet will compete with this model.
The company is planning multiple models, including versions with 64 gigabytes and 128 gigabytes of storage and models that can connect to LTE cellular networks, according to the people. It will continue to have the kickstand for upright typing and watching video.
Of course, along with a new Surface come updated accessories, and the new 10-inch form factor will see updates to the Surface keyboards, stylus and mouse at this size. Like Microsoft's other devices, it will run Windows 10 Pro. The company is planning on releasing a revamped iPad Pro this year with iPhone X features such as facial recognition, Bloomberg News reported last year. Microsoft officials have maintained the raison-d'etre for Surface is to establish new, untapped computing categories, not simply to make hardware for the sake of making hardware.
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