Microsoft Is Struggling To Sell 1 Million Surface RT Tablets This Quarter


We had a feeling Microsoft was a little optimistic about the Surface RT's display.
We had a feeling Microsoft was a little optimistic about the Surface RT's display.

Microsoft’s new tablet, the Surface, is supposed to make the iPad and MacBook Air irrelevant. It’s supposed to be the best of both worlds by being a tablet/laptop hybrid. Reviews of the Surface have been mixed, and initial sales reports are indicating that Surface RT might be in trouble, because no one is buying it.

According to new research by the Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton, Microsoft is likely to sell fewer than 1 million Surface RT units in the December quarter. To put that number in perspective, Apple sold 300,000 original iPad units on its first day of availability.

Despite being backed by a billion-dollar marketing campaign, Detwiler says that Microsoft’s tablet strategy appears to be in disarray, but the firm believes Microsoft should see more demand for Windows 8 tablets in the second half of 2013.

One of the major hurdles hindering Microsoft Surface RT sales is a lack of distribution. The Surface RT is only available for purchase via Microsoft’s website, or from one of their few retail locations in the U.S. Selling the Surface RT at Best Buy might help Microsoft get more nationwide exposure and boost sales numbers despite the $599 price tag and bad reviews.

Detwiler estimates that current sales are probably around 500,000 to 600,000, which is markedly lower than previous estimates of 1-2 million units. On a more positive note, touchscreen-enabled Windows 8 laptops are outselling the Surface RT by a wide margin, and analysts believe the Surface Pro will experience stronger sales than the Surface RT.


Source: Forbes


  • bdkennedy

    The keyboard killed it.

  • lipe_vidigal

    I honestly think Microsoft did a great job with surface, but they don’t have as much apps as Apple does so that makes it difficult for anyone to get it.

  • The_Network

    I have a co-worker that received his 2 weeks ago. He says it works well but he can “Bog it down” in his words. They video jumps a little when playing on youtube. The processor is not up to the devices capabilities. I used it for a half hour, I thought the keyboard worked very well. But I did not go to youtube to verify his claims about the incompetent video driver.

  • Aaron

    Honestly, I believe much of the problem the Surface RT is experiencing is because of marketing. The Surface commercials I see on TV are about how the keyboard snaps onto the tablet. I’m sorry, but what are you selling? Magnets?

    The lack of a wide-reaching channel that consumers can try it out and buy it can’t help either. Having the Surface sold in Best Buy stores would be ideal. Then people could see how sluggish and poorly-executed this tablet is.

  • volodoscope

    Price drop soon then?

  • Kingsmuse

    I don`t know why “analysts” would think the Surface Pro is going to sell better.
    MS screwed this one up when they botched the price point.

    Who is going to drop more than a grand on a half assed hybrid tablet when they can simply get a competent ultrabook for the same or less?

    The Pro version of Surface is going to make the RT versions sales look like a landslide win.

    Neither Surface come close to competing with the top tier Android tablets and aren`t even in the same ballpark as an iPad.

    Shame really as I love the “Metro” UI and form factor of the Surface.

  • mikkeee

    When you’re this late to the party you need to bring something extraordinary and MS failed. I’m a windows dev and prefer Windows over OSX… BUT… I have an Air (running Win7), two iPads, and 3 iPhones in our house. I’ve spent some $$$ over the years on apps so I need to see something huge for me to re-purchase everything again. That on top of the blurred tablet/desktop OS will keep me away from it.

  • TechBell

    What part of it’s priced too high doesn’t Microsoft get? $399 with keyboard and they’re moving them. They’ve got no apps.

  • theincomlive

    I hope microsoft fails big time, i’am so tired of them dominating even though i have windows 7, the whole thing with this statement is because of i want customers to get a free choice of operating system/none with bundling pc, i want them forced off,

    i hope all the manufacturers, retailers, and investors, wake up and se the danger of microsoft and gets pissed off, they should not play with fire because they get burned, if they dont get out of it fast as possible

    sorry to post here but I feel it is a relief to get rid of it

  • Andrew Newsome

    $140 for a $16 keyboard, overpriced..

    Just letting you know that Apple charges $40 for a piece of fabric and plastic (smart cover)

  • Applebestfruit

    It’s a shame that the Surface has almost no apps and that the OS takes 16GB of your storage. The build quality on the tablet is amazing and so far it’s the most well built tablet that I have ever used. Windows Explorer is also the best browser I have ever seen on a tablet. It’s so damn quick and pinch to zoom is freaking amazing.