Microsoft’s Surface Tablet Sales Fell Below Expectations
Ryan Martin / 5 years ago
Microsoft’s entrance into the tablet market was hyped up beyond belief and with all the promotional material they had, Microsoft really set everyone’s expectations high. However, since the launch everything about the Surface has more or less been negative and the Surface tablets have been criticised for their poor “fixability”, high price tags, lack of storage space and Windows 8 RT for its relatively pointless existence.
All that said Microsoft still expected sales to be pretty good and according to the latest figures their optimism was clearly misplaced. Since the launch Microsoft has manage to shift only 1.5 million Surface devices, this combines both Surface RT and Surface Pro figures. The Microsoft Surface Pro sold only 400,000 units due to its very high price point while the Surface RT did better selling about one million units. Microsoft’s expectations had suggested it would sell 2 million Surface RT tablets in December alone, yet they have only sold half that number in nearly 5 months and by those numbers alone you’d think that this whole venture has been an abysmal failure. Having ordered around 3 million Surface RT tablets, Microsoft still has a tonne of stock left to shift.
So where have the problems come from then? Well it seems obvious that the high retail prices of both Surface devices have been a thorn in the side. Given the proximity of the Surface pricing to established tablet brands and products already on the market people weren’t willing to try something new and weren’t happy to put their money on the table when it came to buying the Microsoft Surface. Critics have also laid into the Windows RT operating system, questioning its existence. With Intel continuing to push x86 based SoCs and processors as viable tablet options with the Windows 8 OS, it seems pointless to get involved with Windows RT because Android and iOS offer much better and more developed options if you aren’t using x86. Therefore, Windows RT finds itself stuck between x86 Windows 8 based tablets and ARM Android and iOS based tablets.
Microsoft has the resources, the know-how and the potential to turn this round but it will probably require some serious price cuts. Why do you think Microsoft’s Surface has failed to sell well? Has the price deterred you from buying one? Are Android and iOS based tablets just too strong for the Surface to deal with? Let us know what you think!