Bloomberg is reporting today that Microsoft is making slow progress in entering the tablet market, with only 1.5 million Surface devices being sold in the quarter ending last December. One million of those units are the Surface RT version, with the other 400,000 or so being the Surface Pro version. Microsoft had projected it would sell 2 million units in that quarter, and had ordered three million units to be distributed.
To quickly put that in perspective, Apple sold 22.9 million iPads in the same quarter, with worldwide tablet sales reaching 128.3 million units in 2013.
Microsoft has been clamoring to enter the smartphone and tablet market, a realm that is dominated by Google and Apple. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform has yet to take off, garnering around 7% of the mobile market. Surface, Microsoft’s tablet platform is in a similar boat. For both platforms, one of the biggest problems is the lack of apps.
This comes at a pivotal time for Microsoft, as notebook and laptop sales are expected to drop 18 percent in the first quarter of 2013. The tablet market, however, is expected to have a boon this year, with shipments possibly jumping 49 percent in 2013 to 190.9 million units, and for the first time in history, outselling notebook computers.
Time will tell if Microsoft’s Surface will break into the market this year and grab Microsoft some profit in a time when its bread and butter PC sales are expected to slump. As more apps are created for the platform and Microsoft retools it’s marketing blitz, we may see the Surface gain in popularity.