With just 18 months of tablet experience under its belt, Microsoft Corp is ready to expand the line and spur new sales.
Growth in tablet sales has slowed down considerably, but the company is counting on their small tablet to improve their competitive profile.
A competitor to iPad Mini. Microsoft has been developing a tablet that would be a competitor to Apple’s iPad Mini. Currently, the Microsoft Surface tablet measures 10.6 inches diagonally, which is an inch larger than the iPad air.
The announcement of the expanded line is coming at a critical time in the tablet industry. Analysts are wondering if the popularity of tablet devices has reached its saturation point. In addition to a challenging market, Microsoft also has two tablet groups to contend with. There’s the team that has been working on the Surface, and the tablet team that was part of the acquisition of Nokia Corp’s mobile business. With two mobile-hardware teams under one roof, it can be a challenge to stay distinct. Before the buyout Nokia sold its own tablet called Lumia 2520.
Something needs to change. Even though it is facing challenges, the company realizes that something needs to change if it wants to stay in the tablet market. Surface and other tablets powered by Windows software are less than 4% of the entire market, according to the IDC research firm. Since its introduction in October 2012, Microsoft has recorded about $2.64 billion in sales – but Apple has sold $7.6 billion in the last quarter.
Miscalculated. This ongoing struggle is in part due to Microsoft’s miscalculations and inability to make a significant dent in the market. As the company was developing and promoting the larger Surface, the market was moving toward smaller 7 to 8 inch screens. These smaller size tablets accounted for more than half of tablet sales in 2013.