Print 43 comment(s) - last by fteoath64.. on Feb 16 at 10:10 AM

Big sales numbers or simply not enough tablets?

Microsoft launched its Surface Pro tablet over the weekend. The software giant is now boasting that the Surface Pro tablet has sold out at most retail locations. Microsoft no longer shows 128 GB version of the tablet as in stock on its own online store.

Other locations including Best Buy and Staples are also sold out of the tablet. Microsoft, however, does still show that the cheaper 64 GB Surface Pro at its own online store. Selling all available units would usually indicate strong demand, however, it remains unclear exactly how many units Microsoft had available.

Business Insider reports that some posts online indicate that Best Buy and Staples locations had only a few Surface Pro tablets in stock while some locations had no stock at all. Posts to the official Surface blog also indicate that there were few tablets to be had.

One post read, "Tried every outlet that Microsoft released the Surface Pro. Cannot get my hands on the 128 GB version. My local Staples and Best Buy stores ( 2 of each ) had 2 64 GB versions for sale each and ran out by 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Feb. 9 and had no 128 GB versions at all. What is wrong with you guys at Microsoft?"

If customers are looking to score a good deal on the less capable Surface RT, Staples is offering a decent deal. Customers can now get the tablet with a $75 discount from Staples using special coupon code 99279.

Sources: Business Insider, Virtual Pants, SlickDeals

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Availability in Dallas? Zero
By tayb on 2/11/2013 10:14:06 AM , Rating: 3
There were none to buy in Dallas. Most stores that I called not only didn't get a shipment but they didn't even have a demo model to play with. The tablet also sold out on the Microsoft online store within hours.

Is Microsoft run by a truckload of morons?

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By kleinma on 2/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Nortel on 2/11/2013 10:34:31 AM , Rating: 1
Apple SOLD 71 million iOS devices in 4 months. This is a different story entirely.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By sjag on 2/11/2013 10:42:33 AM , Rating: 1
Yes you are right it's a totally different story, you can build Apple toys in millions overnight, not real computing devices like Surface Pro!

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Samus on 2/11/2013 12:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's easy to sell a product when it costs half the price. The Surface Pro is expensive and caters to a select business demographic.

Obviously people aren't going to buy these for their kids...

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By tayb on 2/11/2013 11:04:25 AM , Rating: 3
There is quite a difference between a store selling out of available product and a store not having any product to sell. I'm not assuming they made a limited amount, they made a limited amount.

This is no different than when I blasted Google/LG for not making enough Nexus 4. Microsoft should have shipped more tablets.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Micronite on 2/11/2013 12:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but what does "Limited Amount" really mean? Everyone makes a "Limited Amount", the question is, "What's the limit?" It's hard to really estimate how much product you need for launch. The more you need, the more impatient people become waiting for you to build up launch volumes, and inevitably you lose sales you might have had.

I really don't think that Microsoft intentionally withheld volume. Of course there is the "sold out" attraction factor, but in the end, if you don't sell a product, you don't make money on that product.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Shadowself on 2/11/2013 2:47:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Apple does sell out. Yes, Apple can't get its act together and meet demand. Apple is shooting itself in the foot on its supply chain fiasco. All this is true.

However, Apple reports hard numbers:
X Million sold (not shipped to outlets, but actually sold) in 24 hours,
Y Million sold in the first weekend,
Z Million sold in the first N days,

Microsoft is saying they sold out, but they are not giving hard numbers. Did they sell out 10,000 or did they sell out 10 Million? That is the critical part in this.

Look no further back than the Zune HD flop. Microsoft loudly proclaimed it rapidly "sold out". Microsoft wanted everyone to believe that demand was so high that they couldn't make them fast enough. Then it rapidly became an embarrassment of low sales. Microsoft never reported the "sell out" numbers. Clearly it was a case of extremely low inventory that "sold out".

Until Microsoft gives actual sales numbers, I don't know for sure if it is any different from the Zune HD case.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By crispbp04 on 2/12/2013 11:55:16 AM , Rating: 2
I understand where you're coming from, but you have to remember that zune HD likely sold out because the people who bought it were likely upgrading from a prior version. The anticipated demand may not have accounted for the product refresh market, and the problem being that demand wasn't sustainable past that, meaning there were few users who where new to the market that wanted a Zune. Yes, they sold out, but after that, it had limited market potential.

The context can't really be applied to a first generation product like surface pro. There is a growing demand for a convergence device, and the options here are limited, and it will be sustainable growing demand.

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