128GB Surface Pro tablet sells out

Microsoft's 128GB Surface Pro tablet has sold out in the US, with the company claiming high demand but buyers suspicious of production volume

11 Feb 2013
Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet went on sale in the US this weekend, despite a blizzard resulting in the US launch party being cancelled, and immediately sold out within hours of availability - but early indications are that low stock levels, rather than excess demand, are to blame.

The Surface Pro tablet builds on the company's first own-brand tablet, the Surface RT, replacing the ARM-based processor and cut-down Windows RT operating system with an Intel chip and the full-fat version of Windows 8 Pro. Despite some early glitches in the Surface family, a last-minute delay, concerns over a short battery life and a surprisingly small amount of user-accessible storage, hopes were high for the device - and the Surface Pro 128GB selling out within hours of the device hitting shop shelves appears to indicate healthy demand.

In an echo of the Google Nexus 4 fiasco, which saw the LG-manufactured smartphone sell out on its launch day due to low production volumes, disappointed buyers are claiming that the sell-out is due to a lack of Surface Pro devices hitting the market rather than excess demand from customers. Gizmodo claims that many bricks-and-mortar stores in the US, including Best Buy and Staples stores, are receiving no stock at all or, at most, one or two units.

The issue appears to be Microsoft's desire to become like its rival Apple, with the lion's share of stock being diverted to its own Microsoft Stores and third-party retailers being left out in the cold.

Microsoft, naturally, denies this. "Customer response to the launch of Surface Pro has been amazing. We are working with our retail partners who are currently out of stock of the 128GB Surface Pro to replenish supplies as quickly as possible," the company said in a press statement. "Our priority is to ensure that every customer gets their new Surface Pro as soon as possible."

The 128GB Surface Pro remains out of stock on the on-line US Microsoft Store, but the cheaper 64GB model is available to purchase. The UK store, meanwhile, still does not have either model of Surface Pro listed, with only the cheaper cut-down Surface RT tablets available for purchase.

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