According to a report from Bloomberg, the new 10-inch Surface tablets will feature rounded corners similar those found on Apple's iPads, and they'll also be the second Surface devices to come with a USB-C port following the Surface Book 2 past year. The budget line will have a battery life that's about four hours less than the Pro line. Intel Corp. will supply the main processor and graphics chips for the devices, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public. 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.
In the past year, Apple sold 44M iPads for $20B in revenue.
Microsoft receives a lot of criticism these days for its increased focus on the cloud and business customers, but it seems that the company remains very interested in the consumer market.
One of my contacts said that Microsoft is planning to announce at least one new low-end Surface device in July 2018.
Microsoft shares are down 0.3% to $97.04.
In March, Apple launched a new iPad model for $329 geared toward education users. Microsoft's Surface devices were always meant to be a reference for other manufacturers to follow.
Microsoft last released a device in the lower-cost category in 2015 with the Surface 3, which started at $499 and featured a 10.8-inch screen. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400. It will be powered by Windows 10 Pro probably with an S mode which locks you to Microsoft Store apps. 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.
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