In a blog post, Microsoft announced that the Surface 2 would getting Long Term Evolution (LTE) capabilities, via AT&T (T), with a price for a 64GB device of $679. The company noted the device would be available at Microsoft retail stores, www.MicrosoftStore.com, BestBuy.com and all Best Buy (BBY) and Best Buy Mobile stores, starting Tuesday. In comparison, a 64 GB iPad Air with LTE connectivity will cost users $829.
Shares of Microsoft were higher in Monday trading, gaining 1.3% to $38.20.
Panos Panay, Microsoft Surface corporate vice president, noted that not only would the Surface get cellular connectivity, users would get 200 GB free worth of storage, via Microsoft's OneDrive, formally known as SkyDrive. "Mobile professionals, as well as anyone who wants access to their digital life and work while in motion, are going to love it," Panay wrote in the blog post.
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In Microsoft's fiscal second quarter, Surface sales accounted for $893 million in revenue, more than double what it was the prior quarter, and Panay noted that's increasing. "Every day, more and more people are using Surface. As the device becomes a part of people's everyday lives, I get excited about the possibilities that start to open up with a fully connected device."
Of course, the iPad still dominates the tablet market when accounting for unit sales, as Apple sold 26 million iPads in its most recent quarter, a record. The iPad accounted for $11.468 billion out of $57.594 billion in overall revenue during Apple's fiscal first quarter.
Nonetheless, Microsoft is slowly but surely getting there, taking its time in attacking the tablet and 2-in-1-device market. Panay hinted that there would be more to come this year as it relates to the Surface: "It promises to be an exciting year for Surface. More on that later!"
-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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