Microsoft Announces Surface Pricing a Week before Rumored iPad Mini Launch
Just a Week before the rumored Apple iPad Mini launch, Microsoft has released pricing on its much-anticipated Surface tablet. The not so surprising move has the surface tablet competing with the current iPad lineup and has the Surface starting at $499 to $699 for the Wi-Fi only model.
Rumors of the iPad Mini set to be announced on October 23rd have the device at a starting price as low as $249. Though those projections may be too optimistic it is likely to have a sticker price lower than the newly announced Surface.
The base 32GB Surface will not include the keyboard cover that Microsoft has touted in early press but instead will be a $119 add-on. Stepping up to the $599 model gets the sleek keyboard cover and saves $20 from buying it separately. The $699 model gets the keyboard and additional storage capacity doubling the storage to 64GB.
The Wi-Fi Surface tablet is set to release on October 26th the same day Windows 8 is released to the public. Windows 8 is set to be an unprecedented event for Microsoft, with reports that Microsoft will spend over a billion dollars on marketing for the new operating system, devices, and platform.
Microsoft may have missed a huge opportunity here with pricing. Considering the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire have been stable competitors to the iPad and are priced in the $199 range, Microsoft had the perfect opportunity to penetrate the market with a price in between the low and high end of the aforementioned products.
We will have to see if the Microsoft name can compete with the proven iPad platform in a similar price range. If the Zune is any indicator of going head to head with Apple in the hardware space, Microsoft may have an uphill battle with the Surface.
One thing is for sure, the tablet market is heating up and consumers will only benefit from the competition. Pricing and innovation will favor consumers and it just may become all out war between Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Black Friday and the upcoming Christmas season will most likely be a good time to pick up a tablet.