TABLET MAKER Microsoft has managed to shift just 1.5 million Surface tablets since launching the device last October, a marginal impact compared to the 52.5 million tablets sold worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012 alone.
The figures are reported by Bloomberg, citing sources that are in the know about sales figures before they go public but don't want to be named. According to the informants, Microsoft ordered around three million Surface RT tablets in the run up to the launch but has managed to sell less than two million up to now.
The Surface RT was launched on 26 October last year alongside Windows 8, priced at around £500 for the 32GB model and £559 for the 64GB model. UK retailer John Lewis said that demand for Windows 8 devices has been "phenomenal", contrary to reports at the time that Microsoft was struggling to win customers.
When compared to worldwide tablet sales last quarter, Microsoft's Surface RT is a drop in the ocean. There were 52.5 million tablets sold worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012, as IDC reported in January.
Surface RT sales also seem pretty insignificant compared to Apple, which sold 22.9 million iPads in the quarter that ended in December. Worldwide tablet shipments reached 128.3 million units in 2012, according to IDC, with Apple's iPad accounting for 51 percent of the market.
As for the Intel powered Surface Pro tablet, the sources said that Microsoft has managed to sell only 400,000 in the US so far since it went on sale at the end of January, so it could follow the same path as the Surface RT.
The Surface Pro has yet to reach the UK market, despite Microsoft having promised it would be here "in weeks" back in January. The firm has still failed to provide a firm release date.
By the time Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet does hit the market over here, we imagine that consumers might find it hard to care. µ
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