Microsoft Preparing Second-Generation Surface Tablets

Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that Microsoft is expected to announce second-generation Surface tablets at the company’s Build Developer Conference, which will be hosted from June 26-28, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Lee and Tsai note that since Microsoft only achieved sales of 1.5 million units for its first-generation Surface tablets (one million Surface RT and 500,000 Surface Pro), realizing barely half of its original expectations of 3-4 million units, the company is taking a cautious attitude over promotion of its second-generation models.

They report that in addition to North America, Microsoft has also been expanding its market reach for Surface, with the Surface RT already available in Malaysia and to appear in Mexico at the end of May. The Surface RT will also become available in Korea and Thailand in June, while the Surface Pro will start selling in Australia and Austria in May and June for Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand.

Lee and Tsai say that Microsoft has retained most of its component suppliers from the first-generation Surface models for the second-generation tranche, with Pegatron Technology again the devices’ assembly manufacturer, with components supplied by several firms, noe of which could be persuaded to comment about Surface shipments.

The sources also noted that the second-generation Surface devices reportedly will only feature a 7- to 9-inch displays to accommodate rising demand for smaller tablet devices.

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