Speculation over the release of a Microsoft ‘mini tablet’
Latest figures show that Microsoft Surface sales took a downturn last quarter, with such a large drop suggesting there may be more behind this than the typical seasonal fluctuations.
Microsoft reported that revenue from the Surface was nearly cut in half, declining from $893 million to about $500 million. By comparison, Apple’s iPad revenue only declined by 33% over the same period. The Surface 2 is one of the only devices left that runs Windows RT, the variant of Windows optimized for tablets at the cost of running older Windows apps. There are now plenty of other tablets that run full Windows 8.1, and it may be that consumers, absent seasonal discounts, are simply opting for those models.
In response to the glaring hole in the Surface range and in order to compete with Nexus 7 and iPad mini, Microsoft is said to be on track for a spring launch of the Surface Mini. Cases for the device are already appearing on Amazon, suggesting the launch will come in mid-May. Only time will tell if this has been enough of a success to help boost the Surface’s decline.
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