As 2012 draws to a close in the next few weeks, all eyes are on Microsoft for the outcome of a huge push for users to adopt Windows 8 devices. Chief among them is of course the Surface RT, Microsoft’s own tablet that functions as a ‘hero’ device to introduced the platform. However, analysts are predicting this hero will be flying a little low during the holiday season.
CNET spoke with analysts from IHS iSuppli who said that the firm is expecting estimated sales of the Surface RT to be around 1.3 million units by the time Q4 2012 ends. The site goes on to compare those numbers to Google’s Nexus 7, which began selling half a million units per month only to rise as the holiday season began, and Apple’s iPad, which commanded 14 million units in Q3.
Meanwhile, Forbes got in contact with Boston brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton who have different numbers to share. They predict sales will be further below early expectations, “trending in the 500,000 to 600,000 [units] range”. In addition, the firm points out that Windows 8 products from Microsoft’s other partners are far outselling the Surface for now.
Obviously these numbers aren’t quite encouraging for Microsoft, but at the same time we have a feeling the market was not accurately weighing in their strategy. After all, the Surface RT is sold exclusively at just 27 retail Microsoft Stores and 34 ‘holiday’ stores in the United States and commands an equal starting price as the current market leader. At the very least, it’s not quite just to compare Microsoft’s tablet efforts with that of Google’s considering the large gap found in the price and targeted demographic. In our minds, we were never expecting more than a million units sold and with the Surface Pro on the way, it’s about time folks got their expectations in check.
Of course we won’t know definitive numbers until Microsoft releases official stats, but in the meantime how do you feel about these analyst predictions? Were you expecting to see higher numbers than the ones outlined here?