When Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet back in June, tech observers were, on the whole, pretty impressed with the device.
Concern was raised though over the company’s failure to release any information regarding its price tag, leading many to conclude that it was going to cost an arm and a leg, and possibly another body part, too.
However, it looks like we may be in for something of a surprise. According to an engadget report on Tuesday, Microsoft is set to launch the most basic version of the Surface – the 32GB model running Windows RT – for just $199.
An unnamed “inside source” furnished engadget with the pricing information, saying that it was discussed behind closed doors at the Redmond-based company’s recent TechReady15 conference.
So let’s recap – that’d be a 10.6-inch tablet with 32GB of memory and a touch cover that doubles as a keyboard. Loaded with Office. Made by Microsoft. For $199. At that price point, it could well dent sales of Google’s recently launched and reportedly big-selling Nexus 7 tablet, which has a smaller 7-inch display and just 8GB of memory (for $199), or 16GB (for $249).
The news will be a cause of concern for Amazon too, with sales of its 7-inch 8GB Kindle Fire device apparently already hit by the introduction of the Nexus 7. A new version of the Kindle Fire is expected in the near future, and by the sound of it it’ll need to be something of a head-turning update for it to make waves in the ever-crowded tablet market.
Even the folks over at Cupertino will be wondering how such a price point might affect sales of its iPad, as well as the expected iPad Mini, which many industry watchers believe will be announced next month. The Surface tablets, incidentally, are rumored to hit stores on October 26, though no official announcement has yet been made by Microsoft.
If Microsoft does go with such a low price tag for the most basic version of the Surface, we assume it’ll be selling it at a loss, in which case the company will be planning to make its money from the sale of apps and various media for the device.