In what could be an embarrassing step down for Microsoft, the software Company, who in October implemented a direct sell model for their new Surface tablet, is now considering a change in direction after experiencing what has been described as “lousy” sales.Speculation is mounting that Microsoft will be forced to ask retailers and distributors to shift a stockpile of between three and five million of their tablets which have been rejected by consumers.
According to an Ingram Micro source, the Company may be forced to do a “Hewlett Packard” and shift millions of the units at “ridiculously” cheap prices.
Back in August 2011, HP moved to dump thousands of their poor selling TouchPads for as low as $99.
The stock sold out within hours of going on sale at Harvey Norman stores.
The Ingram Micro source who is a distributor of Microsoft products said that Microsoft is currently looking at several options to shift the stockpile.
During the past month Microsoft has refused to release sales data for their struggling tablet which the Company chose to sell direct online and via their Company owned stores, at the expense of their traditional hardware partners.
Analysts are claiming that if Microsoft really did manufacture three million to five million Surface tablets to sell in the fourth quarter, it’s going to have between two million and four million left over at the quarter’s end.
Detwiler Fenton, a Boston-based broker claims that Microsoft’s tablet strategy is in “disarray.”
He told the Wall Street Journal “Lack of distribution is killing the product. Mixed reviews and a [$499] starting price tag certainly don’t help, a lack of retail exposure is severely depressing sales.”
He said that with so many other tablets available, there’s not much reason to seek out a Microsoft tablet.
He said that the best chance of seeing a Surface Tablet from Microsoft is on a billboard.
Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.