Microsoft Surface RT sales estimates: are they really that bad?

Microsoft Surface RT sales estimates: are they really that bad?Being anti-Windows is just the latest of the many hats I've been accused of wearing over the years.

And with that in mind, here's another feather to stick in it – or an arrow, maybe: analysts believe Microsoft Surface RT sales so far are almost certainly under a million, and could be as low as 230,000.

It starts with IHS iSuppli analyst Rhoda Alexander telling CNET this week that of around 1.25m Surface RT tablets Microsoft is said to have shipped in Q4 2012, its estimates suggested actual sales “were significantly lower, maybe on the order of 55 to 60 percent of that figure”.

In terms of actual numbers, that works out at 687,500 to 750,000 units.

Then comes a Barron's round-up of broader analyst opinion on Microsoft latest earnings report, which also includes some Surface RT sales predictions. To sum up, Citigroup says 700,000 to 800,000, Raymond James says 1 million, JP Morgan says 600,000 to 800,000, while Goldman Sachs calculates the number could be as little as 230,000.

Going with the notion of consensus, then, the iSuppli estimate seems about right.

As for the broader outlook for the Surface going forward, it's obvious that the addition of the Surface Pro and the wider availability of the Microsoft tablet both in terms of territory and retail channels selling it will see the figures increase.

And looking at the current figures, which have predictably been pounced upon with those with real agendas against Microsoft, it's perhaps worth forgetting we're talking about Microsoft altogether.

Think of it like this: a company with nearly zero hardware experience has introduced an all-new device running an all-new OS in a sector in which until recently only one product had actually succeeded, and did so initially with almost zero bricks-and-mortar retail visibility.

Think of it that way and the figures aren't actually that bad.

Read more about: Windows 8Microsoft Surface RT

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5 comments

Thrasher114  Feb. 1, 2013 at 17:49

I agree. It Is a great entry device for a company new to this area. It has several innovations that the google and apple fanboys completely overlook. Yes I am sure Microsoft would love it if it sold like crazy, but simply the exposure of the device is poor. There are too many people talking bad about it that don't understand what they are talking about.
I have a surface and an iPad and I use my surface about 70% of the time (about 10% with my desktop and 20% with my iPad)

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 1, 2013 at 18:02

Thrasher, you are right, but it is true for every product. Fanbois are fanbois are fanbois.

However: I disagree with re. To "exposure". MS announced the Surface as a kind of show model. Not a big seller but rather a carot other OEMs should take inspiration from.
For that it did get a LOT of exposure. Even the (low) sales figures get more attention than any other device. A LOT of Android tabs failed. Many deservedly, others not. They get little coverage (okay, partly because there are hundreds of them).
The RT on the other hand gets a lot of oh-so-deep analysis thrown its way.

So hey. We'll never know how many were sold. Life goes on.

Pondlife  Feb. 1, 2013 at 20:12

But if it was any number worth crowing about they'd be crowing..

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 1, 2013 at 21:14

But if it was any number worth crowing about they'd be crowing..

That is rubbish.

Sorry, spellcheck fail. I meant "true"! Very true.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 3, 2013 at 18:48

Apparently MS are about to ship 1 million Surface Pro tablets.

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