Analyst: Microsoft Surface sold only 1 million units last quarter

Analyst: Microsoft Surface sold only 1 million units last quarter
UBS analyst Brent Thill believes that the Microsoft Surface powered by Windows RT had two problems keeping sales down in the December quarter. One was competition from the Apple iPad and the other was limited distribution of the tablet. As a result, Thill has cut his estimates on fourth quarter sales of the tablet to 1 million units from his previous call for 2 million tablets that were sold. The new forecast fits in with the 1.3 million in Microsoft Surface RT sales expected by Rhoda Alexander of IHS iSuppli, to be reported by the Redmond based manufacturer for the December quarter.

Thill looks like a raging bull on the Microsoft Surface RT compared to analysts for investment house Detwiler Fenton. Calling Microsoft's strategy as being in "disarray" Detwiler Fenton dropped its Q4 forecast of Microsoft Surface RT sales from 1 to 2 million to just 500,000 to 600,000 units. To put these estimates in perspective, a median figure from Wall Street and independent analysts call for Apple to report the sale of 24 million Apple iPads in the same three month period ending last December.

Thill is much more excited about the prospects for the Microsoft Surface Pro model, expected to be released later this month. Powered by Windows 8 and using an Intel processor, this model is much more similar to a regular PC than the Microsoft Surface RT. The latter is more like a regular Android tablet and Apple iPad in capabilities, and uses ARM supported processors. The Surface Pro runs desktop applications and has more power, and since it is more comparable to a desktop PC, Thill sees the more expensive model as an alternative to the Apple iPad for enterprise users. After all, business workers are used to how Windows works on their desktop computer in the workplace. For Microsoft's fiscal year 2013, which ends in June, the UBS analyst expects that 2.5 million Microsoft Surface Tablets will have been sold, increasing to 8 million for fiscal year 2014.

source: CNET

Related phones

Surface Pro
  • Display 10.6" 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor Intel Core i5, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
Surface RT
  • Display 10.6" 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB

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30 Comments

1. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

This is to be expected. They released a tablet in the same price point as the iPad which already had a very very huge lead in the market place.

2. MeoCao unregistered

Surface is for those who value "click" sound of the kickstand above all else, so 1M is very impressive. :)

7. OHaZZaR

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 19, 2011

Couldn't agree more! I think it's hilarious that Microsoft used that as a selling point and while I see what they're trying to point out, they should've improved a bit on other fronts, because this isn't a time for prototypes, this is a world of products priced very competitively and offer so much more like the nexus 10 and, dare I say it, iPad. The iPad with the screen and apps, and the nexus with screen, apps and everything else. If the surface had the apps then it'd be on par with the iPad since the interface is nice, but the screen really top tier.

8. OHaZZaR

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 19, 2011

And tegra 3 is so 2012 xD Just kidding, tegra 3 is still plenty powerful for most users.

12. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

is it just me or am i missing something? isnt the surface a windows comeputer, and pretty much every program known to man runs on it? but hey, who cares about that when their appstore is empty..

16. joseph98

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 03, 2012

Windows RT is completely different from windows 8, windows 7 or any other windows and no you can't run windows legacy program in windows RT and it's completly different but uses the same UI as windows 8 but you can't for example install a program that work in windows 7 in windows RT. Hope I explained it well.

30. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

You are wrong!

10. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

IMO, the biggest mistake MS made with the Surface is they thought their brand identity would sustain a price point in the same league as the iPad. With 1m sales, that clearly isn't the circumstance. Time for MS to up the value proposition.

3. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

That's because the tablet audience is more mature IMO, and having found out that it's not a full Windows 8 tab/top, the price point, screen resolution and OS wasn't so attractive after all. With the Ipads actually being well priced for their package, the Nexus 10 & co won't sell big either, it'll take a price/performance champion such as the Nexus 7 to have a breakthrough in the 10" segment.

4. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

*Waiting for Microsoft fanboys with popcorn*

11. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

lol.....yea....they are getting more vocal lately. Guess thats a good thing. Means ppl are using MS mobile products. I think MS's biggest hurdle will be getting ppl to forget their past mobile products. I like what I see from Surface. I would get that or an Android tablet over an iPad.

5. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1245; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Should have made it $349 with the keyboard cover. I would have bought one then.

6. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

This is a brand new product. They need to attract users, not scare them off to try it. It's still a really nice tablet though. But just for a comparison, my cousin just bought the Lenovo tablet with a second gen i7 and ssd in it for $700

9. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Who cares? Like they are no dozens of other W8 RT/W8 tablet and tablet hybrids out there already!

13. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I see no proof they actually sold that many.

14. Pdubb

Posts: 249; Member since: Aug 08, 2011

I think that MS has done this correctly. Everyone is forgetting that they said they only wanted to sell a few million. They are on track and now they have started the buzz for W8/RT and the OEMs have to build from here. There is awareness as well as criticism that each should be able to capitalize off and MS will still have their Windows 8 sales without(WITHOUT) the risk of making a device. It becomes a win/win for them.

17. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

On track now? Put down the glass of Ballmer-aid and try a a quick Google search for "demand for windows RT" or "demand for windows 8". Paints more of a mixed, somewhat less rosy picture.

15. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

It indeed was a moderate failure :)

18. timtimity

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

It just shows how huge this market has become when the word "only" is used before "one million" when talking about sales.

19. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 2010

The real problem was the one the Dell Venue Pro had.. no where to buy it.. so you coudnt put your hands on it to compare to other products. How long after all the big sales pitches did they FINALLY start selling at Staples and Best Buy..? Before then you had to have a MS Store or buy it sight unseen from MS via the web. They should have had a big launch WITH Best Buy and I think sales would have been a lot better. You would think they would know better.. guess launching hardware is a little harder than software. They should have talked to the boys at the XBox division to see how it is done.

20. ogy_dogy

Posts: 453; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

I gotta ask, how many ipad mk1 did apple sell the first quarter it released it? When you put in to consideration that this is a brand new product i think 1mil is a respectable number. Give them time, with the s pro msoft has the potential to rule the tablet space...

26. Lboogey6

Posts: 281; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

its not a great comparison only because the ipad was alone that was the biggest thing when you come in and your one of the first and have brand loyalty cool but when its pretty much saturated you have to be clever.

21. papss unregistered

To me it was a receipt for low sales.. First it was only online at their website and then at staples and best buy but by that point it had already missed its chance the get great sales numbers. The price too was about 100.00 more than it should have cost. I'm more excited for the surface pro... Its my next big purchase.

22. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

its just that all windows 8 tablets and RTs are overprice!! for a 32GB model but you can only use 10GB of it?! its ridiculous! and so is the windows 6 tablet... i saw that acer iconia w510 a cheap device since its only $499 for 32GB but would prefer the 64GB with $599 but in my place this tablet for 32GB is price almost 40000 php! just like the surface RT which is price 37000 for 32GB! ridiculous pricing!

23. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Windows fans want a full Windows 8 "Surface" Tablet computer. The Microsoft "Surface RT" did not fit the bill for what they wanted. The Microsoft surface Pro has already be checked out by the verge and others and they say it will deliver a good Windows 8 Pro experience people are looking for. the Problem it will have is that it costs a lot of money to buy Microsoft should Sell it with it's best touch cover keyboard for no more than 900 $ or it may not sell very well although it lives up to the Hype of being a very good Windows 8 Tablet computer. there are other very good i5 and i7 windows 8 tablet computer that will give the Microsoft surface Pro a run for the money. for instance the Lenovo helix for instance is a windows 8 tablet that can be had with a core i7 intel CPU plus 8 gigs of ram it can doo every thing you want a PC to do

24. papss unregistered

The problem with that is that its a Lenovo and not m$.. They are not even close in feel and used material. Go touch and use a mac book pro and tell me quality isnt worth something.. We arent talking software..Beside the point though.. I get what you are saying

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 31269; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The iPad rules the tablet space. There r tablets that rival it, but due to brand loyalty, and notoriety it really has no actual peers

29. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

And yet market share falls?

27. Lboogey6

Posts: 281; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

its not a great comparison only because the ipad was alone that was the biggest thing when you come in and your one of the first and have brand loyalty cool but when its pretty much saturated you have to be clever. they put a high price point to show that they are just as high quality and people did back off because it didn't run the same programs as the computer version. well for the most part its the same with apple not all mac products run across the board.

28. T00muchF00D

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

went to buy one this morning. they are amazing! great ecosystem, fits in well with my Lumia, and Xbox.

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