Apple Sells 11 iPads Per Hour, Microsoft sells Zero Surface Tablets

Every year on Black Friday Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and his team spend the day at Mall of America in Minneapolis watching the Apple Store for buying trends and traffic. This year they also kept an eye on the Microsoft store across the hall, and what they saw doesn’t bode well for Microsoft.

In the two hours Munster’s team watched the Microsoft store they observed these key things:

  • There was 47% less foot traffic at the Microsoft (MSFT) outlet than the Apple (AAPL) store.
  • Shoppers bought 17.2 items per hour at the Apple Store and only 3.5 items per hour at the Microsoft Store. All but two of the Microsoft  purchases were X-Box games.
  • Shoppers at the Apple Store bought an average of 11 iPads per hour. Despite heavy TV, print and billboard advertising for the new Microsoft Surface tablet, not one was sold sold during the two hours Piper Jaffray spent monitoring that store. Doesn’t bode well for Microsoft’s answer to the iPad.

From: 11 Apple iPads per hour vs. zero Microsoft Surface tablets – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech

While two hours isn’t probably enough time to make concrete judgements, it really doesn’t bode well for Microsoft not to have sold any Surface Tablets when Apple (on average) sold 22 during the same period in the same mall.

I will assume that:

  • There were Surface tablets available
  • Surface Tablets were on display
  • Tablet prices were on par with competing retailers

I’ll also note that I was in a Best Buy (very, very briefly) on Saturday looking for a tripod adapter and noticed the Microsoft Surface display. I didn’t see anyone around it, while at the same time there were a few people around the Apple in-store area (Apple Store within a store). Again, not scientific at all (my Anthropology methods prof would pitch a fit if I reported these observations as anything other than anecdotal evidence), but not a good sign in an otherwise busy store.

Gene Munster also reports that sales of many items were down compared to last year, which he believes to be caused by supply constraints:

2012 11 26 08 46 02

Again, that could be both observational bias and a priori assumptions at play here. People could be trying to find better bargains or just browsing or they did want an iPad mini and the color/size wasn’t in stock.

I admit I think the Surface looks really cool, but I also haven’t read reviews that suggest to me that it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the iPad. But maybe the Surface Tablet just needs a little more time to catch on.

Photo from gregstock.me

  • Galaxy

    Why not you compare Apple vs Samsung…iphone 5 vs Galaxy Note II.

    Just within 2 months and Samsung has already sold 5 million units of the Galaxy Note II

    • Pacomacman

      5 million units is good for Samsung, but both the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini sold around that number in a weekend. Is that the kind of comparison you were looking for?

      • Galaxy

        Its a propaganda that the iPhone 5 sold more than five million units during its first weekend … A true apple are not actually growing their market …

        • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

          So, you SERIOUSLY expect anybody to believe that 1) Apple falsely inflated sales numbers of the iPhone 5, 2) Samsung has a single device that is outselling the iPhone head-to-head and 3) that Apple is “not actually growing their market”?

          Let’s tackle this one point at a time.

          1) Actually, I’m going to let YOU provide some kind of proof on that claim. Something as blatant as falsified sales numbers should be relatively easy to “back-up” with pretty reputable sources. Go ahead and link us to your proof.

          2)Any one Samsung device vs. the iPhone, head-to-head:

          YOU chose the Note 2. (A VERY cool device, to be sure. Too large for my personal preference, but still VERY cool).

          Samsung reports that it has SHIPPED 5 million of them. This does NOT mean there are 5 million in the hands of consumers, but let’s just say they HAVE sold every one they shipped.

          Note 2 – 5 million units in 8 weeks.

          Apple hasn’t released updated sales numbers but announced release-weekend sales of 5 million units. Now, I’ll HAVE to assume here since concrete numbers are not available as far as I know, so I’ll be EXTRA conservative and say that after opening weekend, iPhone 5 sales dropped to just 10% of opening weekend volume, and they only sell 500,000 units a week. The phone was released approximately 8 weeks ago as well, that’s an additional 4 million units, bringing the iPhone 5 sales to 9 million units.

          iPhone, conservative 9 million units in 8 weeks.

          Sorry, iPhone 5 is absolutely NOT being outsold by the Note 2. There’s just no way.

          3) Apple is not growing their market… I would assume the only way to TRULY know that is by looking at the company’s market value, correct? There are other factors that can be analyzed to gain a more precise figure, but the overall value of a company is a pretty good indicator of their market growth.

          While Apple’s valuation does fluctuate from week to week, it’s steadily grown by very impressive numbers over the past 5 years. In fact, since November of 2007, Apple’s market value has grown 196%.

          (I’ll pause to let those numbers sink in. Take as long as you need.)

          That’s VERY nearly TWO HUNDRED PERCENT, or TRIPLE it’s value over 5 years.

          Apple is most assuredly “growing their market”.

          Thank you for your time. I await your rebuttal, good sir.

    • Andrew

      Apple sold more iPhone 5s in an hour.

      • Galaxy

        S3 Nn NOTE 2 still on huge demand…iphone is slowly dying…

        • gex

          slowly dying, agree but by then it not iphone5 it maybe iphone 21 vs galaxy 20

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      This is really just a retail store vs retail store comparison. I think it would be a stretch to draw too many conclusions from it, except … this is something Microsoft is probably aware of and watching closely.

      • Galaxy

        User just need more time to get used to the new Windows 8….

        • Zangpakto

          Windows 8 sucks, it is like vista was to xp… Windows 8 is to Windows 7.

  • Galaxy

    According to UBS financial analytics Samsung will sell in the last 3 months of this years more than 61.5 million smartphones….

  • Andrew

    I think the thing we have to look at is how much of the market apple takes up. Almost 50 percent of smartphones on the market are iPhones. Doesn’t shock me that apple sells more than other companies. I’m an avid iPhone user but I will admit Samsung makes some pretty awesome stuff.

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      Agreed, Samsung has cool, cool stuff. Competition is good for all of us I think.

  • Pacomacman

    I’ve worked with portable devices for the last 20 years. I wrote software for the Pocket PC because it was new and innovative. I switched to the iPhone, then iPad because they were unique, I avoided the Surface RT like the plague because it was destined to fail without developers like myself on board. I was asked by Microsoft to port my apps, but a combination of C# and Silverlight dev environments (instead of C++) were off putting, and no legacy support for existing windows software was downright stupid. Windows RT will fail, but Windows Pro tablets will do just fine! In fact, I think Windows 8 will flourish on the Pro tablets whilst Windows 7 will remain the OS of choice on older non touch desktops.

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      Great insights. I think many folks are waiting for the Pro tablets too.

  • Kraken

    Windows RT is the worst of all worlds. It is locked down as tight as an Apple device and priced like an Apple device. But, it doesn’t have the good design, cult following, or millions of apps like an iPad.

    Meanwhile, Android is an open OS that you can customize and run whatever you want on it. Many android tablets have higher resolution screens, and still cost significantly less. While android doesn’t have as many apps as IOS, it is still orders of magnitude more than Windows RT will have for years.

    M$ could have played to Windows’ strengths. It could have been a full fledged mufti-purpose and open operating system like it is on PCs. But as it stands, you get a shiny paperweight for the price of an iPad.