Microsoft refuses to believe that the iPad cannot be challenged in the tablet market. There’s rumor this week that Microsoft is planning a set of low-cost Surface tablets that’ll be released in the second half of the year 2018. These slightly less expensive Surface-brand tablets will run Windows 10 and will cost around $400 USD according to people familiar with the information.
According to people speaking with Bloomberg, Microsoft’s not given up battling the iPad just yet. There’s room for devices that can take over the market that the iPad currently commands – the mobile tablet market. That’s different from the desktop tablet market, a market where the Surface Tablet isn’t doing particularly bad at the moment.
The new Surface Tablet lineup that are meant to do battle with the standard iPad line are meant to be slightly lesser than those in the Surface Pro line. These lesser Surface devices are rumored to be lighter than the current Surface tablets. They’ll also have slightly smaller battery capacity.
The success of this new set of Surface devices depends largely on Microsoft’s public approach. This means not APPEARING to aim directly for iPad. If they aim directly for iPad, they’ll fail. They’ll release another Windows 10 tablet and it won’t be different from the Windows 10 tablets on the market already. They’ll need to perform magic, summoning developers of mobile apps from the ether.
In reality, Microsoft’s got an awesome set of devices in the Surface devices already on the market. If they were somehow able to lower the prices on the device form-factors they’ve already got in the mix, they might expand their market footprint.
I imagine Microsoft isn’t actually pretending they’ll be selling lower-priced tablets to people who’d otherwise be buying an iPad. Instead, they’ll be attempting to fill what they feel is a void in the market: the low-priced mini-PC. AKA The Surface Mini – an actually tiny, low-cost PC that’s bigger than a phone, but small enough to keep in a purse.
Whether anyone will actually want that kind of device, I’m not so sure.