In a research note to investors, Thill estimated that Microsoft sold one million Surface RT tablets in Q4, down from his original estimate of two million units, and added that he expects 2.5 million Surface RT tablets to ship in this fiscal year.
According to Business Insider, Thill put the weak figures down to the Surface RT being compared to the iPad and to the Windows RT tablet's “narrow distribution”, problems that will presumably dissipate now given Microsoft's subsequent distributor agreements with Best Buy and Staples.
However, while the UBS analyst wasn’t overly optimistic on the future of the Surface RT, he was more enthused by the “promising” Surface Pro tablet.
“Surface Pro is the more promising SKU as an enterprise iPad alternative,” he said. The Surface Pro is expected to start at $899 and is reported to be launching later this month.
This isn't the first time analysts have noted lowly shipment forecasts for the Surface RT. Towards the end of last year, Q4 estimates for the ARM-powered Windows 8 tablet ranged from 500,000 to 1.3 million units.