The Surface Mini has seen its fair share of rumors in the past few months. The miniature tablet was rumored to launch at the Surface event last month, but it was no where to be found. Instead, we were given the Surface Pro 3, a bigger and better version of the tablet, which is said to replace the laptops. Although the tablet didn’t see the light of day at the event, rumors suggest it still exists, and we saw Microsoft inadvertently leaking it in the Surface Pro 3 user guide.
Now, for those of you who are holding out for the Surface Mini, move on, as it’s not coming anytime soon, if this report from Digitimes is correct. They say Microsoft has halted the production of the Surface Mini, which was scheduled to begin last month. The smaller tablet market is too saturated, and has strong competition, so it seems Microsoft figured it out that the Surface Mini doesn’t have enough unique features in order to compete in this segment. We saw a report last month from Bloomberg, which hinted at the same fact — that is, it wasn’t different enough from the other Windows-based tablets in the market.
“Microsoft reportedly has called off a plan to mass produce its small-size Surface Mini tablet because of fierce competition in the small-size tablet segment, as well as negative responses from its brand vendor clients, according to sources from the upstream supply chain,” says a report from Digitimes.
They further said, “Microsoft has finished developing the Surface Mini and also completed the product tests; however, mass production did not start as scheduled in May, the sources said, adding Microsoft still paid the costs for the module development and production equipment, the sources said.”
The report mentions Microsoft had developed the product, even the testing and production costs were paid for, but it never started in May. Now, it doesn’t mean that we will not see the device, rumors hint the company may launch the device later this year, possibly when the touch-optimized version of Office (dubbed as Gemini) is ready. It could be the feature that will distinguish it from other tablets in the same segment. Secondly, the report surfaced from the Taiwan-based Digitimes, who have a shaky track record when it comes to rumors, but to be honest, it makes sense for Microsoft to hold off with the Surface Mini.
The smaller tablet market already has many decent Windows tablets, such as the Dell Venue 8 Pro, and many more, which come with a full-fledged Windows 8.1. On the other hand, the rumored Surface Mini was said to come with Windows RT 8.1.
What do you think about this? Microsoft may have pulled the plug, but for how long? Let us know using the comments below.Further reading: Microsoft, Surface