IDC are saying that Microsoft is expected to build a little more than 3 million Surface tablets.
An IDC analyst also offered his views on the likelihood of a $199 version of the tablet.
IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell said in a phone interview. “Probably a little over 3 million, both [Intel] x86 and ARM,” he said. Surface RT is built around ARM processors and will not support older “legacy” software that runs on Windows 7. Intel-based Surface will run Windows 8 Pro that does run legacy software.
“If they build a few million units there’s no way they can sell it through Microsoft store only,” he said, referring to Microsoft’s current plan. “So I think that they’ll sell it through traditional retail also. You can’t build that many products without having a much wider distribution strategy. They just haven’t shared that [strategy] yet,” he said.
O’Donnell also had a lot to say about the possibility of an inexpensive Surface RT device, which a report claims may debut at $199.
“There could be two ways to get Surface. Buy it outright for, let’s say, $599. Or $199 for a two-year subscription and you can get X,Y, and Z — which, oh, by the way, works out to more than $599,” he said.
It’s going be an interesting ride with this pricing of the Surface.
I have said it over and over that I think that OEM’s are screwed. This just confirms this a little more.
Walk with me.
If Microsoft sell 3 million units of the Surface at an average of $400 (an average of all rumor prices $199 and $599), that’s 1.2 BILLION dollars.
By the way, that’s 1.2 BILLION dollars that Acer or HP or Lenovo or Samsung is NOT making.
Does anyone in their right mind expect a publicly traded juggernaut like Microsoft to stop selling the Surface in 2013 if the 2012 batch is successful?
If they start selling tablets successfully, then they will move to PC’s – no question in my mind. It would be irresponsible for a publicly traded company not to.
And once they are there, why not build a “reference” x86 tablet? And a Windows Phone 8 device (if Nokia isn’t working out).
If I was an OEM, I would be TERRIFIED and asking the question – “Does Microsoft really still need us?”