Microsoft Corp’s tablet PC could be available in Taiwan late this month, which could heat up the competitive, fast-growing tablet market.
The Surface RT, which uses the Windows RT operating system, will go on sale this month in Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and Singapore, Microsoft announced in a statement on its Web site on Thursday.
Windows RT is designed for models using low-power chips licensed by British chip designer ARM Holding PLC.
Microsoft announced on Oct. 16 last year that the price of its 10.6-inch Surface RT would start at US$499 for a 32GB version in select countries, which is similar to the entry price of Apple Inc’s new iPad with a 16GB storage capacity.
It remains to be seen whether tablet PCs using the Windows operating system will steal a meaningful share from Apple, which has dominated the tablet market, analysts said.
According to Gartner Inc, iPad shipments reached 76.2 million units last year, accounting for 58 percent of the global market.
The global tablet market is forecast to grow to 193.5 million units this year, up 47 percent from 131.4 million units last year, the firm said.