Once again, an “iPad killer” is crushed before it ever comes close to outselling Apple’s tablet. According to a recent report from UBS analyst Brent Thill, Microsoft only sold 1 million Surface RT tablets during the December quarter.
In comparison, Apple is estimated to have sold 20 million during the same time period.
Business Insider reported yesterday that Thill is “cautiously optimistic” about the Surface line. He believes that Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Pro will be the attention-grabbing tablet that corporations will seek out. If I recall, that is what people were saying about the Surface RT only a few months ago. What went wrong?
AllThingsD noted that Thill blames limited distribution for the low sales of the Surface RT because Microsoft only offered the tablet in stores. Maybe, but we all saw the pictures during the holiday shopping season of the fully-packed Apple retail store across the way from the nearly empty Microsoft retail store.
If Microsoft is putting all of its hopes into its pricier model, even if it is significantly better, then they are in for a shock. Current rumors around the tech world say that the Surface Pro is expected to be priced at $899 and won’t come with Office Suite. That price range is more representative of a Ultrabook, or even laptop. If I’m going to spend nearly $1,000 on a computer, you can be sure I’m not going to buy a tablet. The Surface Pro won’t be able to compete in the same arena as Apple’s iPad. Sales of the pricier tablet will be good if corporations want to shell out that kind of dough for a just-as-expensive-but-less-functioning laptop. The point of a tablet is that it is mobile, costs less, and does less, but offers what you need when and where you need it. If the Surface Pro is just like a laptop, why not buy a laptop?
This puts Microsoft back in hot water as it tries to generate interest in the RT model. The company should have spent more time perfecting the cheaper tablet in order to generate consumer interest. This is where Microsoft could have made its mark. Unfortunately for them, they launched a mediocre product with limited distribution and now the mold has been cast. It will be very difficult for the Windows maker to shake this bad first impression.
[Via: the Mac Observer]