Microsoft’s long-awaited 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.
This is the word from Christopher Riley, founder of The Notebook Company, which is one of the country’s biggest Apple iPad sellers.
Riley says Apple is currently facing elevated competition from Android-driven tablet devices – which are generally cheaper than the iPad – and Samsung in particular, 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%,” he says, adding that he doesn’t believe the arrival of Microsoft’s tablet in South Africa will 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 a big seller locally.”
The Microsoft Surface will be available in both Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT (run-time) versions.