Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, citing upstream supply chain sources, claims Microsoft is preparing to launch the second-generation Surface next month. According to the report, the Redmond-based corporation will announce the tablet at its Build conference, scheduled for June 26th-28th, and has already ordered components for between 1 and 1.5 million Intel-based units.
To better compete with the myriad of smaller tablets on the market, Microsoft is said to shrink the Surface screen size to between 7- and 9-inches. Comparatively, the Nexus 7 and iPad mini have 7-inch and 7.9-inch displays respectively. Since estimated sales of the original Surface RT have been weak, at less than 1.8 million, Microsoft is reportedly playing it cautious about this forthcoming model.
Microsoft released the original Surface tablet last October to little fanfare, and quarterly sales figures are the evidence. In the past two quarters, it is estimated that Microsoft shipped 900,000 units or less of the tablet. If the company wants to compete with the likes of Apple and Google, it will have to seriously step up its game. Since the Surface launched, Apple has sold over 42.4 million iPads.