Is the Surface Running Scared of Apple’s iPad?

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad was the most popular tablet at retail stores during last week’s intense shopping period, according to R.W. Baird’s William Power. By comparison, Microsoft’s Surface (NASDAQ:MSFT) did not make a very successful start. In addition, Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line were “frequently cited alternatives,” while the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 10 was also a strong option.

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How Did all the Tablets Fare?

“Microsoft’s Surface, which Best Buy just recently started carrying, was not recommended to us by reps without us asking about it specifically,” Power wrote in a note to researchers, according to Barron’s. “When asked about sales to date, reps noted that the device was new and indicated that early demand has been modest relative to the iPad and Kindle Fire.”

Power added that retail executives indicated that Surface sale volumes had been modest, with the primary appeal for its Surface buyers being the tablet’s ability to run Microsoft Office. “Consistent with our Best Buy checks, the Surface was also in stock at all Staples stores we contacted,” the analyst said.

A second model of the Surface, running on Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips, will go on sale next month.

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