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Microsoft Surface deemed a dud, Q4 sales could come in below 1M units

Published Dec 5th, 2012 9:20AM EST
Microsoft Surface Sales Q4 2012

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While some see potential in Microsoft’s Surface tablet, most industry watchers appear to have written off the device at this point. Orders were reportedly cut in half following a slow launch, and Microsoft’s (MSFT) debut slate has been hammered time and time again by reviewers and analysts. The latest to pile on is Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton, which estimates that when all is said and done, Microsoft will have sold fewer than 1 million Surface tablets in the slate’s debut quarter.

In a note to clients picked up by Forbes, the firm states that Surface sales in the December quarter are shaping up to fall into the 500,000 to 600,000-unit range, well below its earlier estimates of between 1 million and 2 million units. According to Detwiler, Microsoft’s tablet strategy appears to be “in disarray.”

The firm points to a high price tag, the lack of adequate distribution and mixed reviews as key factors contributing to the Surface’s apparent flop. Had Microsoft priced the slate more competitively and sold the tablet through leading retailers like Best Buy (BBY), we might be telling a different story according to Detwiler.

In a brief positive note, Detwiler said it still sees potential in Intel-based Windows 8 notebooks, which are handily outselling the Surface with Windows RT.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.