Microsoft Surface tablets sold merely 1.7 million units in 8 months since launch

Microsoft Surface tablets sold merely 1.7 million units in 8 months since launch
The Microsoft Surface family of tablets launched as a clear iPad/Android rival, but it has obviously failed to meet sales targets and the Surface RT is on a fire-sale right now. How many units did Microsoft sell however? The Redmond company has filed its K-10 Form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Careful analysis of the filing reveals sales of around 1.7 million in the 8 months since launch. Those 1.7 million units look measly compared to the 14.6 million iPads Apple sold in the three months of Q2 2013 alone. Android tablet sales are much higher.

How did this 1.7 million number come up, though? After all, it’s true that Microsoft has never officially released sales figures for its Surface tablets. Buried deep in the K-10 filing however are Surface tablet revenues. The number stands at $853 million, which is even less than the $900 million write-down Microsoft announced earlier.

The revenue covers the eight month period ending June 30th, and if we take an average Surface price of $500 that would result in sales of 1.7 million units.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer earlier said that the company has "built more devices than [it] could sell." Still, a second generation Surface is likely coming as the tablet market as a whole continues growing.

source: Microsoft Form K-10, GeekWire

Related phones

Surface RT
  • Display 10.6 inches
    768 x 1366 pixels
  • Camera 1 MP (Single camera)
  • Hardware NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • OS Windows RT



19. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I can't wait until the Surface Pro 2 comes out. Might be able to get an original Surface Pro on clearance. My gf really wants a tablet. With a caveat... Facebook games. Lame, I know. I've pointed out to her that just about all tablets play games, many of which are better than Facebook games, but no. No, she's gotta have a tablet that she lets sit on the table for a few minutes, then let's her know she's won a little digital garden trowel. Ah, the things we do...

18. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think Microsoft Windows tablets will always sell slower than Apple or Android tablets because they require more powerful and expensive CPU's and related electronics to run properly due to the fact that Windows 8 or 8.1 is a full desktop OS. The smaller cheaper new 7 and 8 inch Windows 8.1 Tablets. will be good sellers if they sell 350 dollars to 400.and will increase the sales of Windows 8 tablets

17. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

I actually gave one a try when they were giving away a free touch pad with the purchase of a Surface RT at Best Buy...returned 2 days later...Reminded me of a Windows PC..restarts--no apps in app store-low resolution, lag, heavy, bulky....wasn't worth $499 with a free touchpad and still not worth $349 at the current price even if they throw in a free touch pad

16. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

The average price is wrong, as it's the Surface sales, which includes the Surface Pro. So the real number is just a bit over one million as the average price should be taking more around $700

15. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1382; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

When people found out that after buying the tablet they still could not dance they told their friends and sales came to a screeching halt! LoL sorry just had to get that corny joke out. I think in my opinion the advertising was just butt poor. people did not understand what the tablet could do from those ridiculous break dancing and snapping commercials!! show me functionality and what makes it better then the competition. MS had no real story here as RT just had no compelling point. If it can't run the big selling point which is MS office then why have it? Plus the price point was absurd for an MS office less device.

13. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Microsoft should have NEVER done a RT surface. It was doomed to fail from the start. All it did was create consumer confusion. Hopefully MS can recover from this because the Surface is a fantastic idea and the future of computing I believe. What they MUST do however is price it competitively or find a way to make it compelling to corporate IT. If MS can get corporations to start buying surface tablets to replace desktop and laptop computers, their market will explode. I know for my job as an engineer, if I had a windows tablet that was desktop powerful and could take it with me and use it easily.. it would make my day much more pleasant. MS has a great thing with the Surface.. just don't F it up!

11. papss unregistered

Surface pro is priced how it should be for the hardware but the rt wasn't done properly at all

10. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I am shocked it sold 1.7 million.

9. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Surface RT was a bad idea and Surface Pro is too expensive. End of story.

8. Atlas

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 15, 2012

So why are they thinking of doing a Surface 2?

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

what a waste of silicon...

6. jove39

Posts: 2154; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Well...1.7mn is lot for Surface.

3. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2365; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Yea, but how many of them, were returned???? Lol

2. FadyNabil

Posts: 39; Member since: May 10, 2013

1.7 m is not very bad for a new product. remember how many iPad sold in its first year? things will get better surface rt is a quality product

5. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Yes. Apple sold 15 million iPads in its first year. What's your question again?

12. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Coz, there was no competition.

1. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Well when they quote it at 64GB but only actually give you 27GB of memory, is anybody surprised by these sales figures? Oprah loved hers so much that she tweeted from her ipad about it.

4. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

That is to be expected, if you have some brains. Desktop windows itself takes up a sizeable amount of space in Drive C. The actual reason is the lack of apps, and confusing customers. RT shouldnt have existed in the first place, but more efforts going to shoving in a full windows 8 desktop OS into a tablet with decent battery life.

7. jedpatrickdatu

Posts: 169; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

The 64GB version gave you 46GB memory. What really killed sales is the ridiculously high price. Microsoft was like Apple when they priced then Surface, but unlike Apple, they have no reputation in the tablet market.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless