Mircrosoft's Low-Cost Tablet to Rival Apple

Mircrosoft's Low-Cost Tablet to Rival Apple

Microsoft (MSFT) plans to launch a line of lower-cost tablets to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPad. The move is aimed at taking market share from Apple's iPad, which dominates the lower-cost tablet market. What's more, these new tablets will feature USB-C connectivity instead of Micro-USB, something the Surface 3 featured instead of Microsoft's proprietary charging port. 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. Since then, Microsoft has positioned its Surface devices for the business and professional markets. Last year Apple sold nearly $20 billion in iPads, whereas Microsoft's professional Surface line sold just $4.4 billion. Like the Surface 3, the new 10-inch device won't come bundled with any accessories, with said accessories being priced lower than the current offerings. The smaller size means that these models will have smaller battery, and Bloomberg expects a four hours difference compared to the Surface Pro. The new cheaper Surfaces could likewise appeal to students and teachers, and to schools that buy less-expensive devices in bulk.

Apple launched a new version of the $329 iPad in March, with a faster processor and Apple Pencil stylus support. The current keyboard cover costs an extra $160, while the new keyboard will be priced a bit lower, they said. Like Microsoft's other devices, it will run Windows 10 Pro.

Moreover, the new tablets will keep the familiar kickstand first seen on the Surface RT, though these new 10-inch Surface tablets should be 20 percent lighter than the standard Surface 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. The company stopped making it at the end of 2016.

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