Bloomberg is reporting troubling times for Windows tablets this holiday season. According to one industry analyst, early demand for Microsoft Surface, the company’s self-built Windows RT tablet, has been disappointing, leading Microsoft to allegedly reduce the number of Surface RT units ordered from its distributors. The same can be said of alternative Windows-based tablets, with the short list of tablets seeing limited availability across the country.
Both the Surface RT and Acer’s Iconia Windows 8 tablet are sold only through Microsoft’s Stores, of which there are just 60 stores nationwide. ASUS’ Vivo Tab RT, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga, and Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC are on sale at major retailers, though the number of units available have been limited and sales have reportedly been “lackluster.” Microsoft itself has refused to release sales numbers for the Surface RT tablet, which is likely not a good sign for a company which tends to be loose-lipped when there is good news to be shared.
While Microsoft tablets are struggling to gain traction, the tablet market is heating up this holiday season. Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets stole the show again this year, with the company stating the Kindle line was the top-selling items on Black Friday again this year. Apple’s 8″ iPad mini, which went on sale last month, have been strong as well, with one monitored store selling at the rate of 11 iPads per hour on Black Friday. Clearly Microsoft must figure out a way to bolster their distribution channels quickly, lest the company be left behind in the tablet market.