It’s amusing that the iPad Pro is being declared the winner simply because of the volume of sales.
If there’s one thing that Apple has made clear, it’s that there are other factors that can determine success in place of the number of units shifted. Android dominates the smartphone market share, but with Apple claiming the lion’s share of the profits you can make a strong argument that the iPhone ‘wins’ the smartphone market.
Which is why the question of ‘is the Microsoft Surface range a winning family of devices?’ is a better question than ‘did it beat the iPad?’. The answer of course is ‘not yet,’ but it’s much closer to personal success than many imagine.
IDC has estimated that sales across the Surface range were 1.6 million for the fourth calendar quarter. That compares to the two million sales of the iPad Pro, which had a limited supply of units for a portion of the quarter.
Placing the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro units next to each other and it’s clear that even though they have the same form factor they are targeted at different markets. The iPad Pro is a ‘bigger iOS’ device while the Surface Pro is a ‘smaller Windows 10? device. The extra power and functionality in the Surface Pro makes it a ‘full’ computer that can be a tablet when you need it, compared to the iPad Pro which is a very big tablet and uses mobile focussed software to get the job done. For many people that’s enough, but it’s that final five percent of flexibility that Apple’s device is missing that lifts the Surface Pro towards something that is more usable and functional.