Microsoft's Surface tablet
Microsoft's decision to make Wi-Fi only models for now may reflect the need to keep costs down

Microsoft's Surface tablet has been a hot topic this week after its unveiling, and many are waiting on new specs to come down the pike. Today, a new detail has arrived: the Surface tablet will initially be W-Fi only.

Microsoft's decision to make Wi-Fi only models for now may reflect the need to keep costs down. Analysts don't see the Wi-Fi only option as a hindrance for Microsoft's tablet, saying that most tablet owners use their devices in the home where Wi-Fi is available. Mobile carrier connections are expensive monthly commitments that many don't want added to their list of bills. 

However, having a Wi-Fi only device means that internet access isn't available anywhere at any time. This could also temporarily prohibit the Surface tablet from being the "iPad killer," since Apple's new iPad offers a 4G LTE connection.

"Wi-Fi only" didn't seem to hurt Amazon's Kindle Fire, though. The Fire was released last November and ended up being the hot item for the holiday season. In fact, the Kindle Fire successfully cut into Apple's iPad market share during that time, which is the king of the tablets. Amazon ended up moving 4.7 million Kindle Fire units in Q4 2011 while Apple moved 15.4 million iPad units.

Microsoft revealed its Surface tablet last Monday, showing off a myriad of specs like a 10.6-inch screen, a 3 mm fold-out keyboard that doubles as a case, and a thin 9.3 mm frame.

There will be two versions of the Surface tablet, including the Windows RT model with a Tegra 3 processor and 32/64 GB SSD options, and the Windows 8 Pro model with Intel Corp's Core i5 Ivy Bridge processors and 64/128 GB SSD options.

Source: Bloomberg

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