IDC: Microsoft is Planning to Build 3 Million Surface Tablets

Paul Lilly

If the choice is to go big or go home, Microsoft is opting for the former with its Surface tablet strategy. Much to the chagrin of Acer and other hardware partners who wish Microsoft would bow out of the tablet race completely, the Redmond software giant is reportedly gearing up to the splash the mobile market with more than 3 million Surface devices to be sold through its own retail store locations and other outlets.

"Probably a little over 3 million, both x86 and ARM," International Data Corporation (IDC) analyst, Bob O'Donnell, told CNet in a phone interview. "If they build a few million units there's no way they can sell it through Microsoft store only. So I think they'll sell through traditional retail also."

There's still the question of cost, to which O'Donnell also addressed with CNet . Estimates are all over the place, including a recent rumor suggesting Microsoft finalized plans to sell Surface starting at $199, but like many analysts, O'Donnell doesn't see that happening without some kind of subscription model attached.

Realistically, however, O'Donnell doesn't see Microsoft going in that direction, as he believes that type of pricing model would be difficult to pitch on the PC side.

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