Microsoft, Apple cut deals to clear out tablet, notebook stock
Experts expect both companies to roll out revamped devices this month powered by new processors
Computerworld - Microsoft and Apple last week kicked off promotions that may signal inventory clearing as they prepare their next generations of hardware.
On Friday, Microsoft debuted a deal that hands a free keyboard-cover to buyers of its Surface RT tablet.
The Surface RT offer runs from May 31 to June 30 in the U.S., Canada, and the European countries where Microsoft sells the tablet, including the U.K., Germany, France and the Netherlands. Buyers of either the 32GB or 64GB Surface RT -- which in the U.S. list for $499 and $599, respectively -- will receive a free Touch Cover or Type Cover, or one of the limited edition Touch Covers.
The Touch Cover usually costs $120, while the Type Cover sells for $130.
Friday's promotion was the second discount Microsoft announced last week: On Wednesday, Microsoft said attendees of TechEd North America 2013, a conference that runs June 3-6 in New Orleans, will be able to purchase a 64GB Surface RT for $99 and a 128GB Surface Pro for $399.
Only TechEd attendees will be eligible for the special prices, but they can buy up to one of each device. The $99 Surface RT comes with a Touch Cover, representing a 83% discount. A 128GB Surface Pro regularly runs $999, putting the TechEd discount at 60%.
Both prices were under Microsoft's cost, according to analysts' estimates of the "bill of materials" (BOM), or the cost of the components in the devices. Last year, Sameer Singh of Tech-Thoughts pegged the Surface RT's BOM at more than $300, and that of the Surface Pro at over $600.
It's unknown whether Microsoft will make the same Surface Pro/Surface RT discount available to attendees of BUILD, the developer's conference slated for June 26-28 in San Francisco. D. Begley, the marketing manager for TechEd, told commenters who asked about BUILD discounts to query the team responsible for the developer gathering.
Although Microsoft has only recently reaffirmed its commitment to Windows RT, the operating system that powers Surface RT, the two offers may hint that the company is drawing down stock prior to introducing new tablets.
New, smaller Surface tablets are expected. In April, Microsoft's then-CFO promised that Microsoft and its OEM partners would launch smaller, less-expensive tablets "in the coming months."
- IDC drops tablet sales forecast, sees phablets encroaching on the market
- Samsung to offer 3 new tablets starting Feb. 13
- Tablets remain tops in American gift-buying plans
- 'Phablets' are eating into the tablet market, IDC says
- Apple springs Retina iPad Mini on customers
- The puzzling Lumia 2520 tablet: Will it disappear when Microsoft buys Nokia?
- Dell launches four new tablets -- all on Intel chips
- Few use tablets to replace laptops
- New Kindle Fire HDX's tech support button could push IT to yell 'Mayday!'
- Kindle Fire HDX tablets show big push for business users
- Enterprise Mobility Management Checklist Read this checklist for tips and considerations when creating your own Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) strategy.
- Top 3 Myths about Big Data Security : Debunking common misconceptions about big data security Big data represents massive business possibilities and competitive advantage for organizations that are able to harness and use that information. But how are...
- Magic Quadrant for Data Masking Technology IBM is a leader in Gartner Inc's Magic Quadrant for Data Masking Technology. Read the full report to learn about IBM.
- Best Practices for Securing Hadoop Historically, Apache Hadoop has provided limited security capabilities. To protect sensitive data being stored and analyzed in Hadoop, security architects should use a...
- Client Management: Simplifying Life for System Admins Watch this brief webinar to hear how implementing a client management strategy not only overcomes common Apple-ization challenges related to data protection &...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different.... All Tablets White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!