Surface shipments surge ahead of Google's Nexus tablets in the UK

It’s no secret that Microsoft’s Surface tablets haven’t exactly been a huge sales success. But just as its Windows Phone platform has seen slow but steady growth – with market share reaching double digits in some parts of the world – it seems that the company may gradually be gaining some traction in an increasingly competitive tablet market.

As The Channel reports, industry analysis firm Canalys has published figures on UK tablet shipments for all manufacturers to retailers and distributors, indicating a 20.4% increase year on year across the whole market for the first quarter of 2014, with a total of 2.15m units shipped. Shipments, it must be noted, are not the same as sales to end users, but they do give a broad indication of how retailers anticipate they will be able to ultimately offload stock to buyers.

Apple retained the largest share of total UK shipments, with 34.4%, although its shipments for the quarter were down by 4.1% to 742,000. Samsung was in second place with 653,000 tablets shipped (30.4% share), followed by Amazon with just over 303,000 (14.1%).

But Microsoft moved up into fourth place for the first time, with shipments of its Surface tablets growing to 71,540 in Q1 – a 27.1% increase year on year – giving it a 3.3% share. Just under three out of every five of those shipped were Windows RT models. Microsoft’s growth pushed Google into fifth place, with shipments of its Nexus tablets falling by a massive 80% to 42,000 units.

Microsoft’s growth is attributed in part to the company’s strong reseller network, which has seen success in selling devices through to businesses as consumer demand for tablets slows. Samsung has reportedly been pushing resellers to take ever more stock of its devices, despite limited demand from buyers – one estimate claimed that around 300,000 Galaxy tablets are currently sitting in warehouses across the UK waiting to be sold.

Since Microsoft does not disclose exact sales figures for its Surface tablets, figures such as these are invaluable in trying to ascertain how they are performing. 

Source: The Channel | image via Microsoft

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