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

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to release a low-priced line of tablets to rival Apple's iPad, according to Bloomberg.

Microsoft's non-pro line of Surface tablets hasn't been updated with newer models since 2014, when the Surface 3 launched with an Intel ATOM processor and Windows 8.1. Since then, Microsoft has positioned its Surface devices for the business and professional markets.

The company's smaller, lower-cost Surface tablets could arrive as soon as the second half of 2018, said Bloomberg, quoting people familiar with the matter.

It's possible that Microsoft may target the new Surface tablets toward the education market as an alternative to a recent move by Apple, which in March released a new iPad aimed at students and educators, for $329. The report says that the new Surface will feature 10-inch screens, iPad-like rounded edges, and battery life closer to the iPad's promised 10 hours than the prior Surface claim of 13.5 hours. But the $400 Surface tablet will apparently be the first of Microsoft's PC to rely on USB-C for power. As always, there will also be 64GB or 128GB variants, along with an LTE model for cellular connectivity too. Bloomberg's report claims a new 10-inch Surface will be powered by Intel instead. A $400 Surface might draw in new audiences that previously weren't interested due to the high-price of Surface products usually. While iPad sales have shown some signs of slowing down, Bloomberg said Apple still sold around 44 million iPads, and brought in almost $20 billion in sales from the tablets, over the last four business quarters.

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