NPD agree Surface off to a good start


Lines of buyers waiting for the Microsoft Surface.

Unfortunately not backed by figures, NPD vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker told eWeek the Microsoft Surface is enjoying “healthy sales.”

The sentiment was based on strong foot traffic at the 65 Microsoft Stores selling the tablet as well as lines at launch day. Baker also said a Microsoft Store he recently visited was busy with most everyone there looking at a Surface.

Selling Surface only in Microsoft stores, “allows them to really talk about the value proposition of Surface in a very controlled way and drive a lot of traffic to their stores, he said. This allowed the Surface to shine without competing for attention with other tablets.

Other analysts agree.

“We called or visited all permanent Microsoft Stores this week, and the feedback was that Surface sales have been steady, foot traffic has been above average, and restocking shipments have been consistent,” wrote Phil Winslow of Credit Suisse in a note to clients.

Analyst Brendan Barnicle of Pacific Crest surveyed a number of Microsoft’s stores, and reported “strong” sales of the tablet and that most stores had gone through at least one round of inventory replenishments.

NPD’s Baker thinks lines at stores don’t necessarily transfer into strong sales for a product and that Surface sales do not necessarily come at the expense of other tablet makers like Apple or Samsung.

“It’s always easy to say that X competes with Y and Y competes with Z,” he said. “But the tablet market is pretty immature; it’s growing so there’s plenty of room for new products out there that haven’t been in the market before.”

It’s also not necessarily an apples to apples comparison of the Surface to other tablets he said, saying while many tablets can be connected to physical keyboards, Surface is more of a hybrid tablet/laptop than just a tablet.

Have any of our readers seen a Surface in the wild yet? Let us know below.

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