Interest for Surface RT Dropped After Launch, Study Reveals

The latest report from Parks Associates claims that consumers will purchase an Apple iPad over Amazon's Kindle Fire line this holiday season.

While that information really isn't all the surprising, the report claims that 44-percent of the holiday tablet shoppers will go with the older iPad 2 whereas 24-percent will purchase a Kindle Fire. The Surface RT tablet will come in third with a 21-percent tablet holiday market share followed by Google's Nexus tablets at 12-percent.

According to the report, Microsoft's ARM-based Surface with Windows RT was a desired product by 45-percent of the tablet seekers in 3Q12. But once the pricing and product details were announced, that desire to have a Surface RT tablet dropped to the current 21-percent level.

"Parks Associates’ holiday survey from October-November 2012 shows, for the first time, more U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a tablet than a laptop, netbook, or Ultrabook," the firm said on Friday. "33-percent of U.S.  broadband households now own a tablet, up from 15-percent last year, and Parks Associates forecasts 66-percent of U.S. broadband households will have a tablet by 2013."

The report also claims that the just-released iPad mini may cannibalize some iPad sales, as 40-percent of the iPad "intenders" expressed an interest in the smaller tablet.

The numbers generated in this report stems from a survey conducted by Parks Associates, and don't reflect true retail numbers, but rather a level of interest by survey participants. According to the firm, the $5,000 report "details consumer intentions to purchase consumer electronics devices during the 2012 holiday shopping season. It profiles the most desired products and brands, budgets, and the purchase process. It also provides a deep-dive analysis on tablets—one of the hottest CE devices this year."

It will be interesting to see the final holiday tablet sales come January. Currently the iPad mini doesn't seem to be too much of a disruption, and Google is having a hard time keeping its new Nexus 10 "Jelly Bean" tablet in stock. That said, consumer dollars will speak more about desire than a simple survey.

Did consumers really lose interest once Microsoft revealed the Surface RT's pricing and hardware specs? Only Microsoft knows the real numbers right now, but the company is now releasing the tablet to retailers early rather than making the gadget a Microsoft Store exclusive until January. Current unit sales may have something to do with that.

Regardless, there's a genuine interest for tablets, as the Parks Associates report points out. That's a good thing, as it means Americans have the dollars to spend even if it may not be towards a monster desktop or a blazing fast laptop.

“Consumer purchase intentions continue to rise," said John Barrett, Director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. "Concerns about the economy appear to be waning, and more households plan to purchase CE devices this year than last year. All of this will translate into a very Merry Christmas."



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  • kawininjazx
    The surface seems like a cool product, but it really should have been $399 with the keyboard.
  • jay2tall
    I knew a lot of people, including myself that had a HIGH level of interest in this product. I do not own a tablet and was considering this one as my first. When their pricing came out we ALL said no. Microsoft released a NEW product at a premium price. The iPad and many Android tables have been in the market for years and people generally know what they are getting when they buy one. What genius at Microsoft thought they could jump right into the game without proving themselves to the consumer? If the RT came out at $399 WITH the keyboard, every person I know would have bought one instantly. We all talked about it and were hoping for that pricing. But no. Microsoft wanted top dollar for their product and no one wants to gamble on it. Here is an idea taken from other successful products. Take a hit on your first generation and get it into the marketplace. Then with the second gen, add more goodies and up the price. Microsoft, you killed the Surface yourself.
  • Ragnar-Kon
    I was basically sold on the Surface once I first heard about it. But then they released the price point, and how Microsoft opted to charge an extra $100 for the model with the keyboard. At that point the Surface was no longer appealing, especially considering the relatively juvenile Windows Store compared with the Apple Store and the Android Market.

    The Surface Pro is still somewhat appealing, although I admit that the recently released pricing dramatically reduces my excitement for it. I would have bought a Surface Pro with a Core i3 processor at a lower price point ($599-$749), but at $999 I might as well buy a laptop instead.