Microsoft Surface RT sales only reach 1 million last quarter?

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Jan 142013
 

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft’s tablet business may be off to a slow start. Rumours back in November suggested that Microsoft had reduced its 2012 orders from 4 million to 2 million units. UBS analyst Brent Thill now expects that Microsoft may have only sold about 1 million Surface RT tablets in Q4 2012. Thill cites two reasons for the low sales: “Surface RT is a consumer device with [fourth-quarter] sales suffering from the difficult iPad compare and narrow distribution.”

Such numbers could well justify Samsung’s recent decision not to launch its Windows RT-powered ATIV Tab tablet in the U.S.

Thill expects that Surface sales may improve with the launch of the upcoming Surface with Windows 8 Pro. He describes it as “more promising” as he expects that it will be a credible alternative to the Apple iPad in the enterprise space.

Thill estimates that Microsoft could sell about 2.5 million Surface tablets by the end of June when Microsoft’s fiscal 2013 year ends. Sales could climb to 8 million in FY2014. As a comparison, Apple is expected to have sold over 20 million iPads in the same period.

Read more: CNET

Windows RT Samsung ATIV Tab tablet to skip U.S.

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Jan 112013
 

Samsung ATIV TabIt appears that Samsung is having second thoughts about Windows RT. The company this week revealed that it will not launch its Samsung ATIV Tab tablet in the U.S. Its plans for other global markets are also in doubt at this point. Mike Abary, the Sasmung senior vice president who heads up the company’s US PC and tablet group, told CNET that demand for Windows RT devices is just not high enough. Not only is retailer interest low but it appears that consumers don’t quite grasp what Windows RT is and offers. According to Abary:

“There wasn’t really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment. When we added those two things up, the investments necessary to educate the consumer on the difference between RT and Windows 8, plus the modest feedback that we got regarding how successful could this be at retail from our retail partners, we decided maybe we ought to wait.”

Abary does not rule out future devices powered by Windows RT. “We want to see how the market develops for RT,” Abary said. “It’s not something we’re shelving permanently. It’s still a viable option for us in the future, but now might not be the right time.” Samsung is not the only manufacturer to come to such a conclusion either. Both HP and Toshiba have also taken a wait-and-see attitude.

Samsung first unveiled the ATIV Tab at IFA back in August along with the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Camera.

Alongside the already available Microsoft Surface RT, ASUS, Dell and HTC are also expected to offer Windows RT devices later this year.

Read more: CNET

Upcoming Nokia Windows RT tablet to sport battery-equipped keyboard cover?

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Dec 242012
 
Nokia

New details have emerged about Nokia’s rumoured 10-inch Windows RT tablet.

Most interesting is that Nokia will offer a battery-equipped cover accessory for the tablet. Wrapping around it like a book cover, it will come with a keyboard and kickstand. Its built-in battery will kick in once the tablet’s own battery runs out. It will also sport two USB ports.

The report also confirms that the tablet itself will sport a 10.1-inch display. It will also include cellular connectivity as well as HDMI and USB ports. AT&T looks to be first in line to offer the tablet in the U.S. Perhaps we will see it in Canada as well.

Nokia will reportedly unveil its Windows RT tablet at MWC in February. It may only build a small number of tablets initially, likely to gauge market reception. A positive reaction would likely see it increase production and potentially look at a Windows 8 tablet as well.

Needless to say, the company said that it does not “comment on market rumour or speculation” when asked to confirm its tablet plans.

Read more: The Verge

HTC working on Windows RT tablets for 2013?

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Dec 212012
 

HTCAfter being rebuffed by Microsoft earlier this year, it now appears that HTC will launch some Windows RT tablets next year. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reports today that HTC is working on both a 12-inch model as well as a 7-inch one with phone capabilities. Both will be powered by Qualcomm chipsets.

HTC could be among the first to offer a 7-inch Windows RT tablet. It would allow Microsoft and its partners to compete against competing 7-inch tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple iPad mini and Google Nexus 7.

HTC recently confirmed its exit from the U.S. tablet market. It left the door open to a return and it now appears that it could do so in Q3 2013 with its new Windows RT tablets. Could these be the “something unique” HTC has been looking for?

HTC reportedly recently cancelled a large-screen Windows Phone 8 smartphone over concerns that its resolution would not be high enough to compete against competing similarly sized devices.

Read more: Bloomberg

Nokia to unveil 10-inch Windows RT tablet at MWC 2013?

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Dec 192012
 

NokiaRumours that Nokia was working on a tablet have been around since at least November 2011. Since then, there have been numerous hints and suggestions that Nokia was working on a Windows 8 tablet. At one point, it was looking like Nokia would launch one before the end of the year.

It now appears that Nokia’s first tablet will finally see the light of day in early 2013. According to Digitimes, Nokia will unveil a 10-inch Windows RT tablet at Mobile World Congress in late February. Few details are available but Nokia has reportedly been developing it with Microsoft, Qualcomm and Compal Electronics, the same partners as in earlier reports.

The report adds that Nokia in fact delayed the launch of this tablet after finding out that Microsoft would be launching its own Surface tablet in late 2012. Nokia opted to take a wait-and-see attitude to see how the Windows 8/RT tablet market would fare and instead remained focused on its smartphone business.

Nokia has yet to commit to any order volumes and has yet to settle on its marketing plans for the tablet. This would suggest that it may still take a bit of time before the still-unnamed Nokia tablet hits the street.

Read more: Digitimes

Surface RT tablet sales to fall short of Microsoft forecasts?

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Nov 142012
 

Microsoft SurfaceSales of the Surface tablet may not meet Microsoft’s own sales forecasts if a report by Digitimes is accurate. Citing “sources from upstream component suppliers,”, the report suggests that sales started slowly and may only reach about 60% of Microsoft’s forecast by year’s end.

Microsoft is expected to continue to face challenging conditions over the holiday shopping season. Two reasons are provided for this: The first is a lack of a competitive edge in pricing and performance. The second is that the Surface lacks supporting software as previous Windows software is not compatible and relies instead on new software available from the Windows Store.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently described initial sales of the Surface RT as “modest” but pointed out that reception to the tablet had been “fantastic.” He expected sales to improve as availability improved.

The report concludes that Windows 8-based tablet sales may benefit from the slower than expected Windows RT uptake.

For its part, Microsoft has yet to provide any official Windows RT sales numbers.

Read more: Digitimes

Microsoft Surface RT sales off to a “modest” start

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Nov 122012
 

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft has yet to reveal any Surface for Windows RT tablet sales numbers but but CEO Steve Ballmer may have given us our best hint so far how things are going. In an interview with French-language Le Parisien, Ballmer described initial sales as “modest” but did not provide specific numbers.

Ballmer went on to explain that this modest start is due to the Surface’s limited availability. It is currently only available online from Microsoft and through a limited number of stores in the U.S (and Canada). Microsoft has also faced some supply challenges (something Ballmer described as a “good sign” and is working hard to address those as well. Sales should improve as it becomes available in more stores and more countries in the near future. Talking about sales numbers might make more sense then, added Ballmer. He also pointed out that reception to the tablet has been “fantastic.”

Ballmer also reiterated that Microsoft will launch a second Surface tablet, the Surface for Windows 8 Pro powered by an Intel processor, in early 2013.

Read more: Le Parisien (in French) [Google translation] (Source: Reuters

Microsoft delays some Surface tablet pre-order shipments by a week (Updated)

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Oct 202012
 

Microsoft SurfaceThe launch of the Microsoft Surface tablet appears to have hit a bit of turbulence. A number of customers in Canada and the UK who pre-ordered the tablet through the Microsoft Store as early as the first day have received emails indicating that their shipments will be delayed by a week:

The release date for the preorder product has changed. The product listed below will now be available on November 2, 2012.

Microsoft has not provided any explanation for the delay.

Microsoft’s online store shows that orders for the 32GB model without Touch Cover will now ship in three weeks in the U.S. It is also “temporarily sold out” in Canada and cannot even be ordered at this time. Other models still show that shipment will take place in “1-2 weeks.”

The Microsoft Surface is scheduled to go on sale on October 26th. Delays with pre-orders could be a sign that there will only be limited Surface tablet availability at Microsoft Stores (and Holiday Stores) at launch.

Update: Good news! Microsoft has looked into this matter and found that the emails were sent to customers in error. It provided the following statement to confirm that the pre-order original shipment dates will stand:

“Unfortunately, an incorrect email was sent to several of our international customers who pre-ordered Surface from the Microsoft Online Store in the past week. All customers should expect their devices by the original date given when orders were placed. Microsoft is following up with customers to confirm their original shipping date remains unchanged, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

Read more: WPCentral

Video: Another Microsoft Surface ad

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Oct 192012
 

On the heels of the first Microsoft Surface ad comes a second one. Unlike the first, this one focuses less on dancing and more on the features and capabilities of Microsoft’s new Windows RT tablet. It also spends a bit of time on the Touch Cover and Type Cover accessories.

The Microsoft Surface is now available for pre-order through the Microsoft Store. It will also be available starting on October 26th at retail locations including Microsoft stores and its Holiday Stores. Prices start at US$499/CA$519 for the 32GB model without a Touch Cover.

Microsoft is rumoured to be spending over US$1 billion to promote Windows 8, Window RT, and its first tablet device.

Read more: Microsoft Surface [via YouTube]

Microsoft Surface pricing revealed

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Oct 162012
 

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft briefly revealed pricing for its upcoming Surface tablet earlier today on its Microsoft Store website. The site listed the tablets for pre-order with a delivery date planned for October 26th, the same day they are hitting stores. You can put to rest any hopes you had that prices would start at US$199.

Prices start at US$499 for the 32GB Window RT model without a Touch Cover. Add a Touch Cover and the price jumps to US$599. A 64GB model with Touch Cover will sell for US$699.


Click for a larger version

The Microsoft Store also listed the Touch Cover separately for US$119.99 each and the Type Cover for US$129.99.

A separate report indicates that Microsoft has placed orders for up to 5 million Surface Tablets for Q4 2012, suggesting that Microsoft has high hopes for its first tablet. Mass production is almost certainly underway at this point given that the Microsoft Surface is set to to on sale on October 26th.

Read more: TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal

IFA 2012: Samsung ATIV Tab Windows RT tablet announced

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Aug 292012
 

Samsung ATIV TabAlong with its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the ATIV S, Samsung today unveiled its first Windows RT tablet, the ATIV Tab.

Samsung ATIV Tab specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows RT
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual-band), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Display: 10.1-inch HD (1366×768)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 32/64GB internal and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with LED flash and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 1.9MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, USB, mHDMI
  • Battery: 8,200mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 265.8 × 168.1 × 8.9 millimeters / 570 grams

The Samsung ATIV Tab will come with Office Home and Student 2013 RT, offering the new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Samsung did not provide availability details but you can expect it to be available on or sometime after the Windows 8 launch on October 26th. Pricing was not announced either.

Read more: Samsung

Rumour: Samsung to launch ATIV Tab 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet

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Aug 292012
 

With Samsung expected to launch its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone as the ATIV S, it should come as no surprise that Samsung’s first Windows RT tablet has also been leaked as the ATIV Tab.

Rumoured Windows RT Samsung ATIV Tab

The Verge reports that the Samsung ATIV Tab tablet will have the following specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows RT
  • Display: 10.1-inch
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP
  • Front-facing camera: 1.9MP
  • Connectors: USB, uHDMI port
  • Dimensions / weight: 8.9 millimeters thick / 570 grams

The Samsung ATIV Tab will come bundled with a preview version of Office Home and Student 2013 (as the full version will not launch until next year).

Like the ATIV S, the ATIV Tab could be made official later today a Samsung’s IFA 2012 UNPACKED 2012 event.

Read more: The Verge

Rumour: Microsoft Surface for Windows RT to sell for US$199

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Aug 142012
 

Microsoft SurfaceThis rumour will do little to appease Acer Chairman and Chief Executive J.T. Wang after his warning to Microsoft earlier this month. Engadget has learned that Microsoft will begin selling its Surface for Windows RT tablet on October 26th, the same day that Windows 8 launches. The launch date itself may not be an issue but the price will likely further upset Microsoft’s hardware partners. According to an “inside source,” the Surface for Windows RT tablet will sell for as low as US$199.

Previous rumours had suggested that the price of Windows RT tablets would likely start at at the much higher US$599 price point. The US$199 price suggests that Microsoft will sell the tablet at a loss in a bid to compete against other entry-level tablets such as the Google Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire (likely to be refreshed soon), and even the expected Apple iPad mini. The price will likely help ensure that Windows RT gets into as many hands as possible and establish a customer base for the new operating system. Microsoft is probably hoping to recoup some of its losses with subsequent app and media sales.

The more powerful Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 with Intel processor will launch later.

Read more: Engadget

Rumour: Dell to offer Windows RT tablet in October?

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Jul 262012
 

DellWhat does Dell have in common with HTC? According to reports, it is sitting on the sidelines with HTC when it comes to offering Windows RT tablets when the operating system launches on October 26th. According to Unwired View, Microsoft is limiting the number of partners that will be able to offer such tablets. Dell apparently did not make the list.

Each ARM chipset vendor, NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm, was allowed to work with two OEM partners. NVIDIA partnered with Lenovo and ASUS while Texas Instruments went with Toshiba. Qualcomm picked Samsung and Hewlett-Packard. With HP deciding to skip Windows RT tablets for now, there may be an opportunity for Dell to get onto the list after all though. The question is now whether it will have enough time.

For its part, Dell has only confirmed that it will offer a Windows 8 tablet (much like HP is also planning to do).

Microsoft is set to lift its licensing restrictions in time to allow other OEMs to start offering their own Windows RT tablets in January.

Read more: Unwired View and Business Insider

HP to skip on ARM-based Windows RT tablets for now

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Jun 302012
 

Hewlett-PackardOne of Microsoft’s largest partners will not launch any ARM-based Windows RT tablets this year. HP has confirmed plans to focus solely on x86-based Windows 8 tablets. HP spokeswoman Marlene Somsak said:

“I can confirm that at HP, we continue to look at using ARM processors in business and consumer products. However, our first Win 8 tablet will be on the x86 platform focused on the business market. The decision to go with x86 was influenced by input from our customers. The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future.”

The news follows Microsoft’s unveiling of its Surface tablets. This has led to speculation that HP decided to scrap its Windows RT tablet plans in response to Microsoft’s decision to compete directly with its partners in the tablet hardware business. But a PCMag source suggests that HP made its decision ahead of the Surface launch. It’s unclear if HP was aware of Microsoft’s plans back then.

Aside from Microsoft, only ASUS has so far announced a Windows RT tablet, the Tablet 600.

Read more: Bloomberg and PC Mag