Microsoft may have sold as few as 230,000 Surface tablets

Microsoft may have sold as few as 230,000 Surface tablets
A couple weeks ago, we heard from UBS analyst Brent Thill that the Microsoft Surface tablet may not have sold as much as expected, so Thill cut his projection to just 1 million Surface tablets sold in the fourth quarter of 2012. Unfortunately, that's not the end of the bad news for Microsoft, because another analyst is saying that the Surface tablet may have sold as few as 230,000 units.

Barron's decided to aggregate some more analyst predictions about the Surface tablet sales, and found that Raymond James analyst Michael Turits agreed with Mr. Thill's 1 million unit estimate. Citigroup analyst Walter Pritchard wasn't as optimistic, and put the number between 700,000 and 800,000 Surface tablets sold, and Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini brought in the lowest estimate by far, at 230,000 units.

Bellini came to this number by estimating that Microsoft had roughly $140 million in Surface tablet revenue, and "assuming they all sold with a keyboard and thus had an average price point of $580 would yield approximately 230,000 units." We're not too sure it's a good idea to assume that every Surface tablet sold with a keyboard, but even if no customers bought a keyboard, the sales total wouldn't get higher than 300,000 units according to Bellini's numbers. 

The real question is what this all means. It undoubtedly sounds like the Surface tablet has been something of a bust, but it doesn't answer why the tablet hasn't sold well. It could be the price point, the lack of apps, the limitations of Windows RT compared to Windows 8, or it could have been in the hardware itself. We'll have to see numbers from Surface Pro tablets and other Windows tablets before we can sort it all out. 

source: Barron's via BGR

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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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25 Comments

1. wendygarett unregistered

Unfortunately the surface is not available on my country, and end up choosing Dell, Acer, HP instead :(

4. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Lenovo's Thinkpad tablet 2 is pretty awesome, it should be available in your area, it runs full Windows 8, I was going to buy it, but if I get a multicore slate w/ 4gb of ram Dragon dictate works better (or so it claims) I have yet to hear back from them on how it will work on the Surface.

11. vandroid

Posts: 405; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

What country are you in?

17. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

i prefer surface pro than surface RT! that tablet is a joke!!! but it is still their first attempt on tablet so its understandable! just like android's attempt on tablet with honeycomb! im eagerly waiting for surface pro in my country!!! need to change my loptop now with that tablet!

23. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Limited distribution/availability can result in limited sales.... I suspect the article is based on truth, 'cause if MS had sold a bunch of Surface RT units, they would be screaming about how they were going to take over the world. Instead, it has been silence from them about the Surface RT.

2. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I think I'm going to buy a Surface pro, buy Dragon Dictate 12 Premium ($200) and Microsoft Office Home and Office edition ($230 two license, one for my home computer) and you have one school document MACHINE! I'm tired of these "Office lite" apps for Android and IOS (and I have Iwork for iOS and an Ipad 4, it sucks too!) I WANT OFFICE AND I WANT A BADASS SPEECH TO TEXT program (although I LOVE Google's Speech to text service, it is pretty badass) Hmmmmmm, school starts in a few months (for me), I better get a move on.... On a side note, from BH photo video, Asus's Windows RT tablet cost more than its Windows 8 Slate LOL

3. yougotkilled1

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

I believe its the price for the windows RT. Sadly, in my point of view, anyone sees 500$ on a tablet other than the iPad will think that's way too expensive for a tablet other than an iPad. If microsoft can lower the surface to 400$, I believe it will sell well and make a name for itself. That's just my point of view though lol...

5. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

"Microsoft may have sold as many as 230,000 Surface tablets" Fixed it for you PA.

6. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

LOL wow

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Microsoft made a bad call. They really think the can get away with $800 doller for a tablet. If the year had been 2000, yes maybe.

8. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

People forget this are full fledged devices not waterd down arm devices. These are capable of doing almost anything your home PC and are much more powerful than anything arm has.

13. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

What is with the hate on the Surface Pro around here? A 4th gen iPad w 3g/4g will run you $850 and you cant do much with it $50 more and you get a REAL computer!

16. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Good luck with your 4 hour battery life on the Surface Pro.

18. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Good luck with your giant iPod touch. (I have an iPad 4, it is a giant iPod touch)

19. umadd

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

For that price, you can just get a decent laptop instead.

21. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

With Dragon you dont need a keyboard, so why have one?

9. imsickwithsmartphone

Posts: 153; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The lack of apps.... for sure

10. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

I have a surface and love it. It's a real head turner with several people in my classes asking about it and amazed about my touch cover. I also love the office functionality on it. I take all my notes on it and do all my homework on it. It's a great little device. But, the lack of apps so far and the price point and the limited release only in Microsoft stores for the first part of its release didn't help.

12. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

iPad killer this is not.

14. jcpwn2004

Posts: 314; Member since: Jan 18, 2012

" It could be the price point, the lack of apps, the limitations of Windows RT compared to Windows 8" Or a combination of all of those.

15. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

coz its too pricey and the memory that is usable is too little! only 16-20GB, hope microsoft will make some difference with its RT and even windows 9 with project windows blue! and also the updates should be free on RT!

20. techguy22

Posts: 227; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

and the pro one is gonna sell even less. thought they were gonna take over apple and android

22. jedpatrickdatu

Posts: 169; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

It was the price point that did it. Microsoft got overconfident that overpricing the Surface like the iPad won't get in the way of excellent sales, but since the company is unknown in the tablet space, it backfired. Availability also hurt it real bad; it's not available here in the Philippines. Hopefully Microsoft does better with the pricing and release dates next time.

24. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

We can talk estimates all we like though I would rather not put stock in analysts (what do they know). Even if it sold 200,000 units or 800,000 is still a strong step in the right direction for the company. They could sell much more if they made it available in more areas but it seems like the thing Microsoft is having the most difficulty with is creating a large enough distribution system because they were completely dependent on their partners.

25. BackHandLegend

Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 15, 2012

Doesn't microsoft get the point? WE CAN'T AFFORD ANYTHING RIGHT NOW.

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