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IDC: MSFT Shipped Nearly 900,000 Surface Devices in Q1

By - Source: IDC | B 12 comments

Microsoft now rubbing shoulders with the likes of Amazon and Apple as it breaks the top five tablet vendors.

Sales of Microsoft's Surface line of tablets may not have been very strong, but the company has shifted enough of the Surface RT and Surface Pro to bag itself a spot on the list of top five tablet vendors for Q1. 

IDC says that based on preliminary data from its own Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, Surface shipments for the first quarter of 2013 topped nearly 900,000 units. IDC says 'many' of those units were the Surface Pro, which Microsoft only started shipping in February of this year. Figures for Q1 2013 put Microsoft at number five on the list of the world's top tablet vendors with 1.8 percent of the market. Slipping in ahead of Microsoft at number four is Amazon with 1.8 million units or 3.7 percent of the market. Apple, Samsung and Asus made up the top three, shipping 19.5 million, 8.8 million, and 2.7 million units respectively.

Recent rumors have suggested Microsoft may strengthen its push into the tablet market with smaller Surface devices. However, IDC's Ryan Reith is critical of the idea that such action would be a 'saving grace.'

"Recent rumors have circulated about the possibility of smaller screen Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets hitting the market," said Reith, Program Manager for IDC's Mobility Tracker program. "However, the notion that this will be the saving grace is flawed. Clearly the market is moving toward smart 7-8 inch devices, but Microsoft's larger challenges center around consumer messaging and lower cost competition. If these challenges are addressed, along with the desired screen size variations, then we could see Microsoft make even further headway in 2013 and beyond."

For now, Microsoft will have to make do with the Surface and Surface Pro, which the company is working on bringing to the rest of the world. The Surface Pro has been available in the United States, Canada and China since February. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that the Surface Pro would be shipping to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom before the end of May. Additional countries will get the Surface Pro the following month, in June, while the Surface RT heads for Mexico, Korea and Thailand.

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  • 0 Hide
    ojas , May 2, 2013 5:04 AM
    But how many could they sell?
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 2, 2013 5:07 AM
    ... and what percentage of the tablet market share they have now?
  • -2 Hide
    de5_Roy , May 2, 2013 5:08 AM
    what an epic number! google and apple are trembling in fear!
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 2, 2013 5:09 AM
  • 4 Hide
    velocityg4 , May 2, 2013 6:17 AM
    They need to push hard on software compatibility with Metro. If they get the major corporate apps on board they will be in a strong position for IT adoption. They should also push hard for DoD classified communication approval. That would make them very favorable with large corporations.
  • -1 Hide
    COLGeek , May 2, 2013 7:14 AM
    I can honestly say that I have yet to see one of these in use, in the hands of a user, anywhere other that at a store. You certainly can't say that about the iPad. Those darn things are everywhere.
  • 4 Hide
    edogawa , May 2, 2013 7:43 AM
    As much as I hate Apple they do have a strong control over the tablet market with their piece of junk.
    I would absolutely love a Surface Pro if it was in the 600-700 range with a 120+GB SSD, but unfortunately that's not going to happen anytime soon. Shame, I'd love a full Windows OS on a tablet.
  • 0 Hide
    SvRommelvS , May 2, 2013 8:46 AM
    It is admirable that they are still trying but MS has to see Windows NT must go. The point of Win8 is to create a cross-platform compatibility. The public clearly knows that, seeing as how sales barely began until the Pro models arrived.
  • 4 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , May 2, 2013 8:47 AM
    There's a little left out of this that might add context.
    While Surface sales were meh, Windows 8 tablets overall sold approximately 1.9 million in 1Q (IDC article). This really isn't much worse than when Android tablets debuted, at least as far as numbers go ( While demand is certainly higher than it was in 2010, the market is also much more crowded. Point is it's not quite as doom-and-gloom for Microsoft as many would have us believe.
  • 0 Hide
    balister , May 2, 2013 11:06 AM
    Most likely, the cause of most of those sales was to corporate buyers as the Surface Pro easily integrates into an existing corporate IT infrastructure. This is definitely one advantage that Microsoft has with the Surface over the iPad and Android tablets (which require some additional work to integrate where as Surface RT/Pro would not).
  • -1 Hide
    somebodyspecial , May 2, 2013 12:32 PM
    RT won't sell in greater numbers until you put a T3+ (another 400mhz) or a T4/T4i in it. You chose the wrong chip, and shot your device in the foot as it was just too slow. Another 400mhz would make it 33% or so faster, not to mention a sped up gpu. But at this point I'd put in a T4i since it's the smaller and cheaper of the new models but should do find at MS' low tablet res. I'd want a T4 regular for Nexus10's res.
    MS shot win8 in both feet. They shot Surface RT in both feet (price and wrong chip). They're looking like shooting Xbox720 in both feet (no used games, always on internet). Are they trying to fail on purpose? I'm not complaining mind you, I really don't want them dominating anything new. I like they're killing a console off, and want win8 to fail quicker than FISTA. So all things considered I'm happy all around...LOL.
    I'll be triple happy if DirectX dies in favor of OpenGL/OpenCL/HTML5/WebGL. I don't care which wins or if they all play a part as long as DirectX is dead so Linux/Chrome/Android etc will become far better than they are today and maybe we'll end up in FREE OS land...Yeehaw. Instead of an update every 2-3 years that just pisses us off and goes further into the DRM//Hollywood back pockets.
    At this point I hope google puts them out of business. Like them or not, google is giving us lower prices on SUPERFAST internet (if they get their way in more cities), a few GREAT free products (android, chrome, apps etc) and are driving down hardware prices as fast as they can on some great stuff. Will google screw us in the end? Probably, but I only care about how I'm being treated now as they will all screw you in the end. For now google is better than Apple or MS.
    Like the overprice OS? Like overpriced products? Root for the last two. Like cheap prices and great products on top? Vote for google until they turn into the last two...ROFL.
  • 0 Hide
    tleavit , May 2, 2013 2:11 PM
    Ive said it before, just the start. The Pro just came out. Enterprise will pick up win8 tablets. I have 2 testers myself and I'm sure it will replace laptop purchases for most people soon.