Obtaining actual sales numbers for the Surface over Christmas from Microsoft has been like the search for the Loch Ness monster. We hear “great” and “wonderful” and “exceeding expectations”, but as to actual numbers, not so much.

We know that Microsoft added Best Buy and Staples to their outlets for selling the Surface RT just before Christmas, but whether that was enough to put them over the top has been a matter for conjecture.

Twitter user A.X Ian may just have helped shine some light into comparative tablet sales by telling us how many tweets were posted on Christmas Eve that were “first tweets” from various new tablets. Remember though, that this his table shows anecdotal data about ratios, not statistically significant or sound findings about actual units sold.
So with that caveat behind us, his table shows that a massive 1,795 tweets came from new Apple iPads, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire was in second place with 250 “first tweets”.

Google’s Nexus tablets were third with 100 “first tweets”, according to the table. Microsoft’s Surface RT came a distant fourth with only 36 “first tweets” on Christmas Eve coming from the tablet.

That is a ratio of almost 1:50 for Surface RTs vs iPads – the market leader. Should we be preparing the lifeboats for the good ship Microsoft? Well, no, or at least, not yet. The Surface RT is really still ramping up as are other OEMs’ Windows 8 tablets.

In addition, many are holding off and waiting for the arrival of the “real” Windows 8 tablet, the Surface Pro, in January. Surface RT numbers were never going to excel this Christmas. However, if the ratios are nearly similar next Christmas – which I think is very unlikely – then Microsoft will be in deep trouble.

Share your thoughts about the “fist tweets” table below.

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