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Surface Pro 3 sales sound nice, who cares about the numbers?

Surface Pro 3

In response to the news of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 being in low supply in some markets, my colleague Alan brings up a great point: without sales numbers there really is no way to judge the demand/supply of the Surface Pro 3. And in driving home his point, Alan states that Microsoft needs to tell us the number of devices produced and the amount sold.

Were we wrong to write what Microsoft fed us? I hope not, as I myself wrote the article based off Microsoft’s own blog. Let me explain why I found it significant, and why I still do – even without sale figures.

My stance is simple. Thinking that a device being ‘sold out’ is just a publicity stunt is a conspiracy theory with no merit.

Yes, some Apple devices are sold out. But that is because they arrive in shipments and demand is always high in the beginning. Not all locations have enough devices ready to hand out or ship. Apple happily tells them that they will get more devices soon enough, and most people will get their iPhone 6 in a couple weeks. Further, Apple does not use the fact they are sold out as a PR stunt (they have sales figures for that).

Now, could Microsoft be telling us that the Surface Pro 3 is in short supply as a PR stunt? Maybe, but I don’t think so. The Surface Pro 3 is available in the United States, its biggest market. It is unavailable in countries that do not get much Microsoft attention in the first place (if you are not in America you probably have experience with the “not available in your country” message).

I think that it’s much more likely that Microsoft and retailers simply underestimated the demand. Now, they could have estimated that they would sell a thousand and sold two thousand (hyperbole), so the true significance we don’t know yet. Also, after overestimating previous Surface shipments, Microsoft could’ve been overly cautious in its predictions. But still, I found it interesting that their expectations were raised by the demand.

Lastly, I would like to address the merit behind Alan’s argument. My post was positive news for Microsoft, I even said stated “The future of Surface has never seemed so exciting!” So, clearly being ‘sold out’ does result in some positive PR. However, I think it’s better for Microsoft to just sell as many as they can and have impressive sale figures, and further, I think Microsoft believes this too. I chose to believe that their article was actually a promise of more devices becoming available, and not a PR stunt as Alan states.

Do you agree or disagree?

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