Microsoft: $853 million sales of Surface tablets from launch until June 30

Microsoft started selling Surface tablets in mid-October when pre-orders began for the Surface RT. Since then, the company has never released any sales figures for the Surface RT or the Surface Pro tablets that it launched in February 2013. Today, Microsoft finally offered some public information about how much money the Surface tablets have brought in from their launch until the end of the company's last fiscal year, which ended on June 30.

In a financial disclosure sent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Microsoft showed that Surface tablet sales totaled $853 million during that time period. There's no word on how many of those sales were for the cheaper Surface RT or for the more expensive Surface Pro. However, it is likely the only numbers Microsoft will ever reveal so we should be happy that they offered any revenue breakdowns at all.

The revenue numbers are for sales of the tablets before Microsoft decided to lower the price of the Surface RT by $150 in mid-July. Microsoft took a $900 million one time charge in its last quarterly financial report due to that price cut. The company's CEO Steve Ballmer recently told employees at a company meeting that it is developing the next version of the Surface but details were not revealed.

Source: SEC via Geek Wire | Image via Microsoft

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How do you draw in Photoshop on 1920x1080 resolution of 10.1 inch display with no support for touch controls from Adobe? I'm sorry but that's total BS. And again, things you mentioned are not touch optimized, like new Office or any Adobe product. Spotify works on all devices not just Microsoft's.

Almost a billion dollars in sales for anything is substantial. Anyone care to try and break down how many units that might be?

At $499/RT and $999/Pro (average price, rounded up, in USD) that figure comes out to...

1.7M RT or 853K Pro or anywhere in between (e.g. 1M RT + 354K Pro). Either way, over 1M units overall.

I did some calculations, given the price of both Surface RT and Pro (Prior to cost reduction) and the given information. I also took note that the pro has been more demanding.

My calculations figure out to be about a bit over one million surfaces sold (both pro & RT combined). Assuming 60-70% were Pro sales, I would say Microsoft has sold 500 thousand or less RT, consistent with rumors we have been hearing.

Based on their retail prices, 2 RT sales = 1 Pro sale.

If only 500K RT units were sold, then about 580K Pro units were sold. Either way, still over 1M units.

Hahaiah said,
Almost a billion dollars in sales for anything is substantial.

Not if you spent the same amount, or more, in developing costs.

Nas said,
At $499/RT and $999/Pro (average price, rounded up, in USD) that figure comes out to...

1.7M RT or 853K Pro or anywhere in between (e.g. 1M RT + 354K Pro). Either way, over 1M units overall.

That's assuming all units were sold for full retail price through the Microsoft store. For units sold through Staples or Best Buy, Microsoft would only have received the wholesale price.

Thus, unit sales are slightly higher than implied by doing the division.

WARNING : BAD ACCOUNTING COMING UP.

If you average out the RT & Pro sale each to be $853 along with accessories then it would be 1M units.

Rev 2.0 is not going to help a product that is unwanted by general public. I'm going to say it now that Surface is a flop for Microsoft and that it should give up now before it has to write off even more units.

Hardware is too early and software too half-baked for any better sales than this. I expect an RT 2 with Snapdragon 800 and a Haswell Pro 2 to sell like hotcakes!

I can tell you now that I'm waiting for the next revision to purchase - current gen is a bit too heavy, etc, but with Haswell processer in the next revision i'd jump on it

john.smith_2084 said,
The WPF / Metro Engine behind the RT apps is pretty slow, even Core i3 struggles with some apps.

RT apps are not WPF! And they're far from slow (WPF is though)

volodoscope said,
Pushing for Surface 2 is gonna be really hard for Microsoft execs.

Depends, the next surface devices will have better hardware for sure, and Win8.1 is a very nice update. The only thing we don't know about is the final updated version of the core apps, like mail (which we've only seen video of) and so on. The main problem IMO, with the RT was that the core apps were just bad and people thought they could install desktop apps. I think people will figure out the difference now and if the core apps are there and solid then the need for the desktop on a RT device is all but gone.

8.1 goes a long way to make it less desktop dependent for core tasks, just look at all the options added to the new pc settings app which used to be only in the desktop control panel in 8.0. That alone is big for tablet users and their overall experience.

So, 3 things, better hardware, better core software/apps and this new reduced price should work out well. $350 for the base Surface RT2 with better specs should sell just fine.

Perhaps they should stop airing those anti-apple ads and actually use that money to release a product that is meaningful to customers. Like the HP touchpad, I'm still up for a RT or Pro tablet firesale

Strip marketing out for a second, but I don't care who you are, you're going to be happy with $858m worth of sales. If you aren't making a profit from that, then focus on cutting costs in other areas whilst obviously trying to grow total sales, but hell, that's still a positive in my books. That's a lot of money.

Given it's their first hardware product in this market coupled with an OS overhaul it's not bad, but even as a Microsoft fan, it's sort of a drop in the bucket compared to their $70 billion annual revenue stream.

I wish they would drop the price of the keyboards. I need to get a Type cover as I find the Touch Cover hard to type on.

no matter how you put the numbers, it is something that is close to a million tablets, and less that 2 million.

iPads and Androids sold in tens of millions every year.

A lesson to Microsoft: Anger your customers, and they will not buy!

customer not happy == customers will not buy
customer != buy == no profit
!Profit == cost cuts
cost cuts == Microsoftians Fired!

All the above == natural selection in progress, eliminating the stupid and ignorant people at Microsoft.

john.smith_2084 said,
no matter how you put the numbers, it is something that is close to a million tablets, and less that 2 million.

iPads and Androids sold in tens of millions every year.

A lesson to Microsoft: Anger your customers, and they will not buy!

customer not happy == customers will not buy
customer != buy == no profit
!Profit == cost cuts
cost cuts == Microsoftians Fired!

All the above == natural selection in progress, eliminating the stupid and ignorant people at Microsoft.

That makes no sense whatsoever.

I don't think there will be a fire sell to the general public, there will be one, but most likely to schools maybe?

I actually enjoy reading about how bad is Windows 8, we complained so much, and they did not listen, today I stopped developing apps for Windows all together, my software works on Mac OS, Windows, and Chrome OS, it is called html5

Edited by john.smith_2084, Jul 31 2013, 1:12am :

john.smith_2084 said,
I don't think there will be a fire sell to the general public, there will be one, but most likely to schools maybe?

I actually enjoy reading about how bad is Windows 8, we complained so much, and they did not listen, today I stopped developing apps for Windows all together, my software works on Mac OS, Windows, and Chrome OS, it is called html5

They already started the school deal, it was talked about on here a week or more ago. The reduced revenue from that and the price cut factors into the $900mil write down. That doesn't mean they're not making money in the end, just $900mil less than they expect when it's all over.

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