A report by Bloomberg appears to confirm fears that sales of Microsoft’s Windows RT-powered Surface tablet have been far from stellar since launch last October.
According to the report, which cites unnamed sources, only one million Surface RT tablets have been sold.
According to Bloomberg sources, Microsoft had ordered about 3 million units of the Surface ‘lite’ version, which uses chips designed by UK-headquartered Arm. A USB analyst quoted had initially projected that Microsoft would sell 2 million Surface RTs in the three months ended December 2012.
The higher-powered and more expensive version, Surface Pro, which uses Intel chips, appears to be selling better. According to the report, around 400,000 Surface Pros have been sold since launch in February.
However, given that IDC says tablet shipments reached a record total of 52.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 – a year-on-year increase of 75.3 per cent – then Microsoft is making little headway in this burgeoning market.
The research firm says Apple is the runaway leader – a 43.6 per cent share of tablets shipped in the fourth quarter – followed by Samsung (15.1 per cent), Amazon (11.5 per cent), Asus (5.8 per cent) and Barnes & Noble (1.9 per cent).
Lack of functionality has been one criticism levelled at Surface RT, while the cheapest version of Surface Pro – which can innovatively switch between touch tablet and PC modes – is a hefty $899.
The Windows RT platform suffered a blow earlier week when Samsung announced it was withdrawing tablet devices based on the OS in some European markets.