The Microsoft Surface tablets were proudly announced by the Redmond giant back in June 2012. It was interesting to see the company’s approach towards the tablet industry as they had a regular tablet in the form of the Surface RT, which was aimed at the average tablet user. And a hardcore tablet with similar design and construction but pretty powerful internals, and this is known as the Surface Pro. The problem for Microsoft was that the Surface Pro wasn’t quite ready to be released in October, which meant that they had to only launch the Surface RT. Granted this wasn’t much of a notebook replacement, which is something people generally come to expect from a Windows tablet, the tablet didn’t attract a lot of buyers. And even if there were buyers, they didn’t have good experiences to share about the device. This mass disinterest in the tablet is evidenced by the poor holiday season sales of the Surface RT along with the rest of Microsoft’s Windows package, including Windows 8 PCs. We’re not sure if the problem lies in the user interface or the mere usability of the platform, but the Microsoft Surface RT wasn’t quite the success Microsoft expected. And now, we are learning that the Surface RT might have only sold a touch over 230,000 units overall since its late October launch.
This is in stark contrast to what analysts previously reported. This new revelation comes from an analyst name Heather Bellini from Goldman Sachs and we don’t see why these numbers could be wrong. Financial magazine Barron’s cited sales estimates predicted by various analysts over the past few weeks. It can be concluded that the 1 million sales report of the Surface RT for Q4 2012, was an over exaggerated figure. According to Heather Bellini, Microsoft made $140 million in Surface RT revenue, which could only account for roughly 230,000-300,000 sales. Here’s the math. If we consider the average price of each Surface RT sold to be $580, which is after taking into account the Touch Cover sales, the total sales wouldn’t go north of 300,000 units. This is a fair calculation, and one which needs to be closely analysed.
The general opinion out on the street is that the Surface RT hasn’t been a success in the market and we found more users keen on waiting for the Surface Pro’s launch. The tablet breaks cover on the 9th of February, so we’ll know how this sells in due time. Microsoft certainly has to address some issues with regards to its tablet lineup though. The Surface RT was nothing short of a dud, and maybe Microsoft should strictly focus on making top end premium tablets like the Surface Pro so as to avoid losses and failures like these. Not that the Surface Pro will sell any better, but it’s just that Microsoft cannot afford to fall back even in the tablet game. As we all know, it’s already falling behind in the smartphone biz and its recent PC sales figures have been nothing to write home about either. So in order to keep its house intact, some serious changes are in order.