Will Surface sales exceed 1 million units in Q4 2012?

So just how many Surface tablets will be sold in its first quarter on the market? Microsoft itself has been quiet in terms of offering specific sales predictions, and CEO Steve Ballmer has said that Microsoft's approach to selling the tablet has been "modest" in terms of distributing it. So far, the only places people can purchase Surface is via a Microsoft retail store or on the Microsoft website. The only exception has been China, where Microsoft has been working with a local retailer to sell the tablet.

With only a few more weeks to go before the fourth quarter of 2012 ends, CNET reports that two analysts have differing predictions on how many Surface tablets the company will sell. On the one hand, IHS iSuppli analyst Rhoda Alexander thinks that Microsoft will end up selling 1.3 million Surface tablets in the quarter, adding, "I would be surprised to see it much above that." On the other hand, the Boston brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton has predicted that Microsoft won't even sell one million units of the Windows RT device.

The article points out that Google's Nexus 7 tablet, running on Android, is now estimated to be selling close to one million units a month. However, the Nexus 7 has a price of $199 compared to the starting price of $499 for the Surface. Apple sold 14 million iPads in the third quarter of 2012.

Source: CNET

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19 Comments

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Since the Surface has no retail availability, buying them is harder. They are onky sold viua Microsoft Stores and their onlkine stire as the writer states. Many wont know that. Microosft stores are not as busy as other retailers. Most peopel think all that is there is WIndows, Office, XBOX and 3rd party PC's and Windows Phone. Which is ture actually.

But unlike the Apple, people who shop for products based on Windows won;t hink to go to Microosft directly because they never had too. Most Windows related items typically are foound at most onlinre retailers like Fry's, TigerDirect, NewEgg and Amazon. The Surface isnt avail there as of yet. Then at stores, people are use to going to Best Buy. Again Surface isn't here. That is the one place Microosft should have made sure had the device to be seen side by side with iPad and the Galaxy Tab.

When Microosft said sales were modest, the problem is they knew and expected it to be so because the product is not avail anywhee but in modest locations. Not everyone likes to shop online.

Deihmos said,
I highly doubt it. The surface is already forgotten and barely anyone noticed it.

But yet you comment on something that you say is already forgotten! SMH!!!

Auch said,

He is right - after well paid advert hype, even on Black Friday for 2 hours no one bought that crap which is Windows but not exactly... precisely Windows 8 which is Windows but not exactly.

That was 2 hours (they wouldn't even say what hours) at one store. They very well may have been sold out at that location.

stm24 said,

But yet you comment on something that you say is already forgotten! SMH!!!

It's because the news appeared here and it's the topic... News on tech site != what the general public is talking about.

In addition, the numbers are all about the current trend, and what's missing in these analysis are the long projected forecast that Microsoft has established for themselves.

Microsoft announced they'd only manufacture 2 million before 2013. Looks like their projections were spot-on. They could have sold a million billion of them if they had reduced the price but they'd have wiped out their own OEM customer-base if they had. Come to think of it, I think I could live without Taiwanese products.

I think they'll sell 1.5 million. Just a guess.

Microsoft said they'd produce between 2-5 million as they wanted to keep the supply low to guess the market and get the device out there for feedback. They've already started work on the second RT model, btw.

The thing about the Surface is it's a new concept in the market. Established platforms--the typical laptop, android phones, apple products, etc.--have already proven their value, so people have no issue with buying them online before trying them. But if almost no one can so much as look at the Surface up close before buying.. well, it wouldn't be too surprising if sales were low. Despite that, I think MS is expecting less than stellar adoption rates anyway. And if they went through the trouble of getting the surface into retail stores immediately, they'd be cutting the revenue per device and, more importantly, stepping on the toes of their partners (esp. HP).

Of the four people I know who have tried to purchase Surfaces, all of them have been unsuccessful. They've all either been declined for unknown reasons that Microsoft and the banks can't explain, or Microsoft takes the money and claims the purchase was successful but no confirmation e-mails or order numbers are given. In the latter case, the money was refunded after 7 days without Microsoft being able to offer any assistance during that time.

I was able to purchase a Surface (on behalf of someone who was having trouble) and it was successful, but a week later I tried to purcahse another using exactly the same method and I lost my money for 7 days. I'm not sure I'd risk trying to purchase another one. I'm in Australia if that matters.

I'm not surprised they haven't sold many if they won't take people's money.

BattleDaggit said,
Of the four people I know who have tried to purchase Surfaces, all of them have been unsuccessful. They've all either been declined for unknown reasons that Microsoft and the banks can't explain, or Microsoft takes the money and claims the purchase was successful but no confirmation e-mails or order numbers are given. In the latter case, the money was refunded after 7 days without Microsoft being able to offer any assistance during that time.

I was able to purchase a Surface (on behalf of someone who was having trouble) and it was successful, but a week later I tried to purcahse another using exactly the same method and I lost my money for 7 days. I'm not sure I'd risk trying to purchase another one. I'm in Australia if that matters.

I'm not surprised they haven't sold many if they won't take people's money.

was this earlier on? because they had supply issues initially :-p
Im planning on either the RT or pro. might just go rt because I have a latptop.

anyways, ill buy it. I still trust them to give back my money if its unsuccessful. I live in Canada so they should be fairly quick on delivering.

EA on the other hand... greedy company... would not refund me after telling me they would multiple times.

Just heard from someone who's order was supposedly successful, but they've received no further aknowledgment . They contacted Microsoft and were promised a call back within 24 hours regarding the order. Microsoft haven't called back, and the money is still outstanding. No e-mails, no order number. Nothing. I guess they just don't want to sell them and want to **** people off for their trouble.

Surface RT is available in very limited country. Hope they could expand the availability soon to gain more market share.

Can we at least get an extrapolation of what data and sources they used to come to these conclusions?

I predict 7 million Surfaces will be sold this quarter! I'm an analyst so spread my opinion!! /s

Wouldn't be surprised. Release of a new device during the biggest shopping time of the year. It is going to sell well like everything else. Already had record spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Will be interesting to see what the totals are after the holidays.