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

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.

  • ojas
    But how many could they sell?
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... and what percentage of the tablet market share they have now?
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    what an epic number! google and apple are trembling in fear!
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    http://blog.laptopmag.com/apple-ipad-sales-samsung
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    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.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    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.
    Reply
  • edogawa
    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.
    Reply
  • SvRommelvS
    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.
    Reply
  • bourgeoisdude
    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 (http://bgr.com/2011/01/31/android-tablets-finally-dent-ipad-market-share/). 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.
    Reply
  • balister
    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).
    Reply