Reports indicate that Microsoft may be preparing to slash the price of the Microsoft Surface RT, by almost half. The Surface RT is Microsoft’s first in-house tablet, created to showcase the Windows RT operating system.
Instead of lowering just the price of the cheapest device, the Surface RT with 32GB of on-board storage, Microsoft will drop its price to $349 with a Touch Cover, then slash prices across the entire line.
Starting with the price cut, the Surface RT with 64GB of on-board storage and no Touch Cover, and the Surface RT 32GB with Touch Cover will only cost users $449. The Surface RT with 64GB of on-board storage and a Touch Cover will cost users $549.
For comparison, today, the Surface RT with 32 GB of on-board storage and no Touch Cover costs users $499. Originating from The Verge, these rumors don’t seem to indicate a price cut for the Touch Cover and Type Cover keyboards. Today, users must pay $119.99 for the Touch Cover separately while the Type Cover, the only one of the two to feature movable keys, costs $129.99.
The Verge believes that these sharp price cuts could come as soon as next week.
While this could be interpreted as Microsoft signaling that its low-end Surface devices just aren’t working out, there have been persistent rumors of possible successors to the original Surface RT. Reportedly, these successors would come in screen sizes as small as 7-inches.
As the Surface RT was announced a year ago, it’s not impossible that Microsoft isn’t simply clearing space for an upcoming successor.
While Microsoft is new to the tablet hardware space, recent numbers from market research firm IDC indicate that Microsoft has managed to capture 5th place in the tablet hardware space. A lower price Surface RT – even if temporary, might catapult them to an even higher place.
So far, Microsoft has already offered lower pricing for universities and other educational institutions. To date, the only discount Microsoft has offered consumers directly has been a free Touch or Type Cover with the purchase of every Surface. That sale ended last month.
Update: Office Supply retailer Staples, will be offering the special discounted pricing starting this Sunday and lasting until July 20th. So far, no other Surface vendors have signaled any lower pricing.