Update: We have more data, which helps us to understand the situation. According to Microsoft’s Panos Panay, at least some of the company’s retail partners are also out of the Surface 128 gigabyte Surface Pro SKU. There have been numerous reports of Best Buy locations not having a single device in stock, so supply does appear to have started low, and declined to zero.
Microsoft is “working with [its] retail partners […] to replenish supplies as quickly as possible.”
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As I noted below, the single data point concerning the US-specific Microsoft web store wasn’t enough information to declare victory. This new data, however, let’s us state that the Surface Pro is having, at a minimum, a launch that Microsoft can chart up as within its expectations.
Given the somewhat lukewarm press reception to the Surface Pro, the fact that the 128 gigabyte SKU has sold out on the US Microsoft online store feels like news; the media had it all wrong! That may be the case, but the fact that the device has in part sold out in its first day isn’t exceptionally interesting.
Here’s why: the Surface RT also partially sold out on its first day, and has since struggled in the market, moving perhaps 1 million units – that’s the upper end of expectations – since its introduction. Microsoft had anticipated stronger sales. And, even with those larger expectations, still allowed the device burn through its 32 gigabyte SKU online in its first day.
Having a device ‘sell out’ on its first day is always good for a press cycle.
In short, we’re seeing little more than a reprise at the moment. It’s somewhat fun to parse through why the Surface Pro would sell out its higher-capacity SKU, unlike the Surface RT which ran out of its lowest; this could be due to public reports concerning limited functional user storage in the 64 gigabyte model.
Adding to the mix is the fact that in the Canadian Microsoft online store, as reported in TechCrunch, the Surface Pro has not sold out. What we are seeing is a localized demand in Microsoft’s home market for a single SKU of its new device. If the company had sold out both SKUs in short order, and in another location, that would mean much more.
Caveat to this: The Surface Pro is available at more locations than the Surface RT was at its launch. Thus, we could be seeing stronger total channel sell-through than one might expect. However, we have no evidence of that so it remains speculation.
For now, however, all we can say is that there was enough pent-up demand for the device that it moved a decent number of units its first day. So did the Surface RT.
Until we have hard data, hold tight.
Top Image Credit: Ben Lakey