Today, Microsoft announced plans to start delivering 4G/LTE Surface 3 models to business customers and then consumers. It is also launching new Surface 3 configurations specifically for business customers.
As you may recall, Surface 3 launched two months ago, but at the time only the Wi-Fi-only models were made available to the public. But Microsoft says that it has started shipping the first 4G/LTE Surface 3 models in Japan, with availability expanding to business customers and then consumers in Germany and the United Kingdom and then other countries in the days ahead.
Actually, Microsoft says that the Surface 3 4G/LTE models starting shipping in Japan two weeks ago through Y!Mobile. I hadn’t heard about that, but I will accept the judge’s ruling.
Looking ahead, business customers in Germany and the UK will be able to buy the Surface 3 4G/LTE models starting July 3, 2015 (Friday) through Deutsche Telekom and O2, respectively. Customers in France and Spain will be able to purchase them via Orange and Movistar, respectively, “later.” It’s not clear how much later.
Following these releases, Microsoft says it will make the Surface 3 4G/LTE models available to consumers and businesses at retail and commercial resellers in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. These releases will occur “in the coming weeks,” Microsoft says.
In the US, pricing is $100 more than the Wi-Fi-only configurations. So Surface 3 4G/LTE 2 GB/64 GB will cost $600 in the US, with Surface 3 4G/LTE 4 GB/128 GB hitting at $700. You’ll need a Type Cover as well, of course, and possibly a Surface Pen. So a Surface 3 tablet with 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and LTE compatibility, a Type Cover, and a Surface Pen will set you back $880.
Microsoft is focusing on getting Surface 3 to business customers first, it says, because it has seen a lot of demand from that market. And in keeping with this demand, it is expanding the number of Surface 3 models, just as it did (silently) this week with Surface Pro 3, though in this case these models are only available to business customers: special 4 GB/64 GB and 4 GB/128 GB configurations, both with Windows 8.1 Professional (instead of Windows 8.1 Core).