Microsoft’s fledgling Surface tablet range could end up being stillborn due to a schizophrenic marketing strategy, according to analysts.
Detwiler Fenton, a US based wealth management firm, says a decision to sell the devices solely through online outlets and in Microsoft’s own retail stores if you’re in the US, was ‘killing the product’ and could limit sales to just 500,000 by Christmas – far below forecasts.
In Britain anyone wishing to pick up one of the devices has to go online to do so and won’t commit to opening any stores until it has assessed the success of its US branches.
Even in America there are just a measly 31 stores and 34 ‘popup’ outlets selling the devices across the entire country.
By way of contrast Apple currently has 250 stores selling its wares.
Microsoft has been pursuing an unconventional advertising strategy for their product, choosing to eschew traditional media to plug their device in Picturehouse cinemas and coffee shops instead.
In their report Detwiler Fenton said: ““Mixed reviews and a [$499 or £399] starting price tag certainly don’t help, but lack of retail exposure at Best Buy [an American appliance store] and others is severely depressing sales.”