Microsoft seemingly announced that its own-brand tablet will start from $499 on its Microsoft Store website earlier today, only to take down the product page a short time after. (Microsoft then later confirmed the prices, see Update below).
Update: Microsoft has now officially revealed the prices of the Windows RT-powered Surface tablets, and they confirm what was leaked earlier. The prices are as follows, and the tablets will be available to pre-order online at 9am PST on October 16:
- 32GB Surface with no Touch Cover: $499
- 32GB Surface with a Black Touch Cover: $599
- 64GB Surface with a Black Touch Cover: $699
- Individual Type Cover accessory: $129
- Individual Touch Cover accessory: $119
Earlier, pre-Update report: Discovered up by The Verge, the product page indicated that the 32GB Surface with Windows RT but without a Touch Cover would be available for $499, with the Black Touch Cover adding $100 to a model with the same specifications.
The listing then showed that the 64GB model with a Black Touch Cover would sell for $699, and also confirmed that these Touch Cover keyboard cases will be available in additional colors of white, pink, purple, and a light blue.
Microsoft has since taken the page down from its website, but the prices -- if to be believed – would mark something of a surprise given one anonymous analyst told TabTimes last week that he reckoned Microsoft hadn’t even settled on the prices.
There may also be some disappointment among consumers given recent reports had claimed that the Surface with Windows RT would be starting from $320.
Earlier in the day, news emerged on Microsoft’s first TV ad to promote the tablets, while a report from the Wall Street Journal suggested that Steve Ballmer’s company hopes to ship three to five million of the devices in Q4.
Citing component suppliers in Asia, the WSJ figure is not dissimilar to an estimate from IDC earlier in the year, and also ties in with an earlier hint from Ballmer that his company will ship a ‘few million’ in the final quarter of the year.
Should Microsoft actually ship these numbers, it could be seen as a modest target considering Amazon (with the Kindle Fire) and Apple (with the iPad Mini) are reportedly shipping 5 million and 10 million tablets respectively in Q4.