Microsoft Surface Struggles To Make A Dent in Tablet Market
The tablet market grew at a staggering pace in the first quarter, jumping 142.4 percent year-over-year, according to the latest data by IDC. Apple and Samsung led the charge, accounting for nearly 60 percent of shipments in the first quarter. Microsoft, on the other hand, was unable to grab much of the 49.2 million units shipped. The company, which has two tablets on the market, captured only 1.8 percent of market share in the first quarter, IDC reported.
Microsoft shipped about 900,000 Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets in the first quarter of the year, making it the number 5 seller of tablets, IDC said. To get an idea of how little 900,000 tablets is, take a look at Apple and Samsung: Apple shipped 19.5 million units and Samsung shipped 8.8 million units in the first quarter.
Microsoft couldn’t seem to boost sales of its tablets, even with the release of Surface Pro in February. The company’s Surface RT, which was released in October, accounted for most of its shipments. Beyond the Surface products, Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets continued to struggle to gain traction in the market. Total combined Windows 8 and Windows RT shipments across all vendors reached 1.8 million units, IDC reported.
Surface, which is a latecomer in an extremely competitive market, has yet to resonant with consumers. However, Microsoft is full steam ahead with its tablet plans. The company is reportedly getting ready to launch smaller Surface devices, according to a few reports. The “second-generation” Surface tablets may be announced in the coming months, possibly at the upcoming Build Conference in June, according to a report in DigiTimes. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is preparing a 7-inch tablet.
A smaller Surface tablet would attempt to go to head to head with the iPad Mini, which helped boost Apple’s shipments in the first quarter.
“Sustained demand for the iPad mini and increasingly strong commercial shipments led to a better-than expected first quarter for Apple,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said in November that the sales of the Surface “are starting modestly.” Microsoft hasn’t officially disclosed any Surface sales data or guidance, so we’ll have to wait and see if these figures are spot on.
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