On Tuesday during Microsoft’s FY14 Q4 earnings report to the United States Security and Exchange Commission, the company revealed that it is no longer pursuing an 8-inch Surface Mini tablet. Microsoft disclosed this in the “Computing and Gaming Hardware” section of the report.
“Current year cost of revenue included Surface inventory adjustments resulting from our transition to newer generation devices and a decision to not ship a new form factor,” the report stated.
News of the Surface Mini has been rather wishy-washy since the tablet was removed from a Surface reveal event back in May. Rumor has it that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella pulled the device at the last minute because it didn’t have anything to differentiate it from other small Windows-based tablets. The touchy Office “Gemini” apps were supposed to make their debut on the tablet, but now it looks as if we won’t see them until Spring 2015.
Thousands of Surface Mini units are believed to be locked away in one of Microsoft’s warehouses.
The news arrives as rumors begin to surface about a third Apple iPad Mini “Air”. This device is rumored to pack a new Apple A8 processor and a design that’s a 30-percent thinner form factor when compared to the older iPad Mini model. That would suggest a thickness of around 5.25 mm; the first-generation model is 7.2 mm and the second-generation is 7.5 mm thanks to the Retina display.
How Apple will reduce the iPad Mini’s size is unknown for now, but there’s a chance the company will use the same sapphire crystal display that will be used on the rumored iPhone 6. This protective display would reportedly be about as thin as a sheet of paper.
The third-generation iPad Mini is expected to hit shelves in 3Q 2014, probably behind the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6 in September. Macrumors reports that this model will likely have a more durable Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The device will also support iOS 8’s new SDK, which allows third party apps to access the fingerprint scanner to verify the user.
Did Microsoft do the right thing in cancelling the Surface Mini? The company reported on Tuesday that Surface revenue was $409 million, driven by the second-generation Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 devices, along with the recent launch of the Surface Pro 3.
“We launched Surface Pro 3 in the U.S. and Canada on June 20, and it will roll out to additional markets beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015,” the report stated. “This new device is optimized for productivity and highlights the progress we have made bringing hardware and software together.”