Microsoft Clarifies Surface 3 4G LTE Availability in the U.S.
Microsoft (MSFT) late last week excitedly announced that its broadband-enabled Surface 3 4G LTE model was available to consumers in the U.S. through its own stores, channel partners and retailers.
Fair enough, but there was only one small problem–the tablet won’t be selling through those outlets in the U.S. until late August, a misstatement the vendor quickly corrected.
“A few weeks ago we announced the availability of the mobile broadband-capable Surface 3 (4G LTE) for business customers in France, Germany, Spain, and the U.K., with the promise that details for consumer availability and launch dates in additional markets, including the United States, would be forthcoming,” wrote Brian Hall, Microsoft Surface general manager, in a blog post dated July 24.
“Today I’m happy to announce that Surface 3 (4G LTE) is on sale in the United States beginning today, July 24th,” he said.
Later that day, Hall clarified the announcement in a blog update, explaining that the Surface 3 4G LTE version only is available right now to U.S. consumers through AT&T and will be offered to U.S. business customers through T-Mobile@Work on July 31. In August, Microsoft will widen the device’s U.S. distribution to include other third-parties outlets and its own stores, he said.
“Earlier today in this blog post, we announced that Surface 3 (4G LTE) is on sale in the United States beginning today, July 24th,” Hall wrote. “It seems we were little too excited and jumped the gun on U.S. availability through Microsoft stores, authorized resellers, and partner retailers,” he said.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our customers. To clarify, Surface 3 (4G LTE) is on sale through AT&T beginning today, and business customers can purchase Surface 3 (4G LTE) at T-Mobile @Work beginning July 31,” said Hall.
“However, unlocked Surface 3 (4G LTE) will be available in the U.S. through Microsoft stores, authorized resellers and partner retailers in late August,” he said.
When the vendor does sanction sales of the tablet through its U.S. stores, channel partners and retailers, it will offer it in unlocked 64GB and 128GB versions, Hall said.
“Surface 3 brings the best of Surface Pro 3 in a compact and affordable package, and the 4G LTE version will be a great fit for a lot of people who need to stay connected beyond the reach of Wi-Fi,” said Hall. “I’m excited to see the availability of the Surface 3 (4G LTE) growing and will provide future updates as we have them,” he said.
Microsoft announced at its recent Worldwide Partner Conference its plans to expand the Surface channel to include distributors.
“We found we had partners with an interest in selling [Surface] and customers who weren’t happy that there were so few partners they could buy from,” said Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group general manager. “So we are moving to add a few thousand partners globally in the next few months.”