Surface: Microsoft has reportedly sold 1.5 million tablets, with Pro version selling faster
Microsoft’s more expensive Surface Pro tablet is selling way better than the more basic RT model, according to information obtained by Bloomberg.
The sales figures won’t have Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer jumping manically around a stage in sweaty excitement anytime soon, but what is interesting is that it’s clear that many buyers turned their nose up at the RT model, deciding instead to wait for the launch of the pricier and more powerful Pro version.
Around a million Surface RT tablets have sold since it hit the market in October 2012, while the Pro model, which launched much more recently, on February 9, has reportedly sold somewhere in the region of 400,000 units. Bloomberg’s information came from three people familiar with the matter, the news organization said.
Sales may well have been healthier had Microsoft better handled the launch of the Pro model last month. Many stores appeared to have had only a few in stock at launch, and supply issues – especially with the top-end 128GB $999 model – seem to have been sorted out only recently.
To compare the reported figures with the current leader in the tablet market, Apple sold a shade under 23 million iPads in the last three months of 2012, with the Cupertino company’s device accounting for just over half of all tablets shipped – 128.3 million – in 2012. So clearly, Microsoft still has a lot to do.
Of course, it’s still relatively early days for the Surface tablet, but recent RT-related news hasn’t been particularly good for Microsoft, with weak sales in Europe leading Samsung to halt sales of its RT tablet in Germany.
If Bloomberg’s figures are accurate and sales don’t improve for the RT model, somewhere down the road the Redmond-based company could take the decision to dump the RT device and pour all of its resources into the high-end Pro version instead.
Microsoft’s RT tablet currently retails for $499 (32GB) and $599 (64GB) while the Pro version can be picked up for $899 (64GB) and $999 (128GB).
By Trevor Mogg