I always think of the tablet market as having two basic segments. You have your high-end segment that Apple owns with its iPad, and then we have the lower end segment where tablet such as the Amazon Fire HD and hordes of Android-powered tablets play. I’ve always thought that the companies trying to break into that high-end tablet market, such as Microsoft, are doing things wrong, especially when it comes to pricing.
I don’t think you can put a tablet on the market with similar or lesser performance selling for the same price or more than the segment leading iPad and expect success. I think this is exactly what Microsoft did with Surface RT. Sometimes it seems Microsoft believes people will buy simply because it’s a Microsoft product. Sources in Microsoft’s upstream supply chain are claiming that orders for Surface RT tablets have been cut in half.
The sources are claiming that the new operating system may not be performing as well as Microsoft expected on the market. Originally, Microsoft predicted that it would ship 4 million Surface RT devices by the end of 2012. However, the software giant has recently slashed that prediction to 2 million.
Demand for Windows RT tablets from other manufacturers such as Asus, Samsung, and Dell is also said to be weak. Sources in the supply chain also say that the Surface RT tablets aren’t expected to perform well for Microsoft in the coming quarter. The sources say that with Surface RT underperforming, Microsoft could be forced to roll out its Intel-based Surface Pro tablets earlier in December than expected. The sources also claim that Surface Pro tablets could see a price cut to help attract customers.