The Microsoft Surface rumor mill is up and running, with the latest market information hinting that a 7.5-inch tablet will be heading to market for under $400 at some point next year.
Less than 24 hours after reports claimed that Microsoft is to announce new 7-inch to 9-inch Surface tablets at its BUILD developer conference in June, market research analysts added their thoughts on the company's intention of building a smaller device.
NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim revealed that he believes the Redmond firm is already working on a 7-inch model.
"From the supply chain side, we're seeing the panel specifications, the touch module, the mass production schedule being made," Shim told CNET writer Brooke Crothers.
Pushed for further details, Shim added that he expects the model to have a 7.5-inch display with 1400 x 1050 resolution, which would give it a greater pixel density (233 pixels per inch) than both Apple’s iPad mini and Google’s Nexus 7, but warned interested parties that the tablet may take some time in coming to market.
"Mass production is Q1 [first quarter] 2014. Apparently, pretty significant volume. Multiple millions," said the analyst.
Shim would not be drawn on a possible price for the new Surface, although other sources reportedly told Crothers that Microsoft is aiming to sell it for $399.