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Analyst says the Surface RT tablet isn’t doing too well, but expects better things from the Surface Pro

by Doug Drinkwater

January 15 2013

UBS analyst Brent Thill reckons Microsoft has sold only a million Surface RT tablets since it launched in October
UBS analyst Brent Thill reckons Microsoft has sold only a million Surface RT tablets since it launched in October

UBS analyst Brent Thill says that Microsoft sold just one million Surface RT tablets in Q4, but expects better things from the incoming Surface Pro tablet.

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.

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