We live in a big world and North America is far from the only market of importance. This is why it is equally important that Microsoft reach out to some of the most populous, developing countries in the world such as India and China.
We’ve seen this expansion into China specifically with the Nokia Lumia 920, which at just a penny with subsidization, has done phenomenally selling out quickly and staying relatively hard to find throughout the country.
What about Microsoft’s tablet efforts though? Has the Surface RT seen as strong of presence in China so far? Based on the evidence we had, I’d say yes. The evidence being the long lines for the Surface RT back in October when it was released.
Unfortunately, that evidence proved little if IDC is correct. According to IDC, they’ve crunched the numbers and believe that China actually only had around 30,000 shipments during the 4th quarter, and so while the Surface RT sold out quickly it was due to really low stock.
Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t demand for the device, we just don’t know. Without more stock it is hard to tell. It also makes us wonder about the Lumia 920’s success in China, is it because of limited stock or true demand? Maybe a mix of both, perhaps.
So why would Microsoft keep Chinese shipments low?
You could say it was limited production of the tablet that kept in down. You could also say that Microsoft decided to prioritize other markets in Europe and North America.
Supposedly though, its more about Microsoft’s strategy in China, which is to get the device out there to show local vendors and partners that Windows RT and Windows 8 has potential and is worth developing for.
In many cases, products made by Chinese companies to do better in the country than those from the outside world, so I suppose this makes sense. Plus, Microsoft always said the Surface was more of a “reference design” to inspire and push their partners, more than anything.
Overall though, Windows 8 and Windows RT seem to actually be doing fairly well in China, but for now the Surface only makes up for around 1% of the entire tablet market.
Do you think Microsoft should attempt to expand its presence in China, or is it better if they can work with Chinese vendors to get cheaper Chinese-made tablets onto the market? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.