Microsoft Cuts Surface Tablet Price to Spur Demand
The price for the standard Surface RT tablet which lacks the soft cover doubling as a keyboard fell to $349 from $499.Technology giant Microsoft has cut prices on its Surface RT tablet as it struggles in a highly competitive market dominated by Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle and a slew of low-cost devices running Google’s Android operating system. On the company’s Website, the price for the standard Surface RT tablet, which lacks the soft cover doubling as a keyboard, fell to $349 from $499, while the version that includes the keyboard dropped to $449 from $599. Both versions offer 32GB of storage, while the Surface tablet with double the memory saw the price drop to $449 sans a keyboard cover, and $549 with the cover included. "We've been seeing great success with pricing and cover promotions over the past several months on Surface RT in the U.S. and other markets," a Microsoft spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. "People who buy Surface love Surface, and we're excited about all those additional people out sharing their excitement for Surface with other people." Microsoft sold 900,000 of the devices in the first quarter of 2013, according to a May report from IT research firm IDC, and the report noted many of those units were Surface Pro, which the company started shipping to the United States and Canada in February. Beyond the Surface products, Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets continue to struggle to gain traction in the market. Total combined Windows 8 and Windows RT shipments across all vendors reached 1.8 million units, the report noted.
In comparison, Apple outperformed IDC's most recent projections for the quarter, shipping 19.5 million units compared to a forecast of 18.7 million units. No. 2 vendor Samsung also performed above expectations and managed to grow its shipments over the fourth quarter as more of the company's smaller-sized tablets began to gain traction in the market.