Microsoft is reported to have shipped 2.5 million units of its Surface range during the fourth quarter of 2015. Total shipments for the year is estimated at 6 million units, which according to analysts has exceeded expectations by 50 percent given that its only 4 million units of the Surface devices that was projected to sell last year.
Microsoft completed the year with a market share of just over 9 percent. The Surface maker was able to capitalize on the hype that its new product launches, that of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book created with both registering brisk sales. Discounts during the holiday season played its part too with the Surface 3 still qualifying for a $100 price cut. All of the above contributed to a 29 percent rise in revenue from the Surface sales.
The Microsoft Surface range comprises of the Surface and Surface Pro hybrid devices and the Surface Book notebook though all of these can also operate as a standalone tablet as well when detached from the keypad unit.
Experts also predict shipments of the Surface range to increase 30 percent to a further 8 million devices in 2016 even after taking into account the decline in sales that the notebook segment registered last year. The rate of decline is expected to slow down if not reversed entirely.
The performance of the Surface range also assumes significant in view of the global trend wherein tablet shipments came under strain for the first time last year. Shipments declined by 12 percent in 2015 as most of the manufacturers including Apple and Samsung reporting a dip in market share.
According to Canalys, growth in the tablet segment this year will be contributed by tablet devices with screen sizes bigger than 8-inches as vendors look for ways to improve margins. The market research firm further predicted that the Windows platform will have a bigger share of the market this year while small time tablet makers might have to exit the scene altogether.
Asus and Lenovo are the other companies to have registered strong sales of Windows tablets with demand for the Asus Transformer series of two-in-one devices being particularly strong.
Microsoft is also reported to be developing a new iteration of the Surface device that is expected to reach markets by the latter half of 2016.