Thursday, 2 May 2013

Microsoft’s Surface tablet will lift the level of competition in the local tablet market – but will it sell much?



Microsoft’s long-awaited – and much-touted – Surface tablet is due to hit South Africa’s shores within the next few months and, while it is expected to lift the already high level of competition in the tablet market, sales are unlikely to be huge, said Christopher Riley, the founder of Pretoria-based notebook and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company, one of the biggest sellers of the Apple iPad.
Riley said Apple is currently facing elevated competition from Android-driven tablet devices – which are generally cheaper than the iPad – as well as from an invigorated Samsung, whose tablet sales have risen meteorically in recent months.

“Apple’s share of the global marketplace has fallen from 51,7% to 43%, while Samsung’s has doubled from 7,3% to 15%. The arrival of Microsoft’s tablet in South Africa isn’t going to make a huge impact. Microsoft has lost too much traction over the last three years and the entrance of the long-awaited Surface is just that – it is long-awaited. It is late – and Microsoft has arguably lost its chance to become a core player in the tablet market.
“It is being touted as a great tablet from a price/performance perspective. Of course, time will tell. But I don’t believe they will be big sellers locally.”
Commenting further, Riley said that while Apple iPad sales still account for the lion’s share of the company’s revenue, sales have dropped in recent months as other tablets become more popular, including the Samsung devices.
The  Microsoft Surface will be available in both Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT (run time) versions.

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