So Did Surface Really Outsell iPad in October?

Posted on December 8, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Microsoft Surface, The Sams Report with 0 Comments

So Did Surface Really Outsell iPad in October?

No. But it’s fun to imagine such a world, isn’t it?

According to WinBeta, which inexplicably received an early version of a report I’ve never heard of—1010data Facts for Ecom Insights, January 2014 – October 2015—written by an analyst firm I’ve never heard of, makes the following wild claim: Microsoft’s Surface allegedly outsold Apple’s iPad in October. Well, when you look at online sales anyway. And just in the U.S.

In other words, Surface did not outsell iPad in October.

Sorry, guys.

Since no one except WinBeta seems to have this mythical report, I can only go by what they quote. And it works out like so.

The data comes from “millions of online shoppers in the U.S. who allow 1010data to anonymously track their online behavior for market research purposes, including e-commerce activity.” But that means two things. This isn’t global. And it’s online sales only, so it doesn’t include retail sales. Apple has, um, a slightly bigger retail presence than Microsoft, though of course Surface (like iPad) is available in Best Buy and elsewhere too.

Apple iPad sales have fallen, year-over-year, in seven subsequent quarters, though that does not include the current quarter, of which October is a part. According to 1010data, online sales of the iPad fell by some unknown percentage month-over-month—a completely different metric—in October, while Surface sales jumped by what looks like similar amount. This makes sense as two major new Surface devices became available in October. And the new iPad Pro didn’t ship until November.

There’s some other information around the average selling prices of these devices, with Microsoft Surface hitting at $844, while iPad is only at $392. That’s a fascinating figure, given that the very cheapest iPad (a years-old iPad mini 2) costs $270, while the cheapest new iPad is $399. Are we really expected to believe that an ancient iPad mini sells so well it skews the results that far down?

Looking at the full year, Apple of course dominates, with 34 percent of all tablet sales online and in the U.S. only. But Microsoft, inexplicably, is number two, with 19 percent. You’d think they would trumpet the fact that they’re beating Amazon, Samsung, ASUS, Lenovo and other Android tablet makers. But nothing. It’s almost like this data isn’t real. Or at the least meaningful.

On that note, I don’t believe that it is. Real. Or meaningful. In fact, I don’t believe any of this.


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