This is a tale of contrasting fortune. Of two rivals.
Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPads were selling like hot cakes on Black Friday while demand for Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Surface tablets were not even lukewarm at the opening weekend of the shopping season, analysts said.
Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, who tracks Apple faithfully, said that Traffic at Apple stores in Minneapolis was up 31 percent on Black Friday vs. a year ago, likely driven by shoppers wanting to see the iPad Mini.
In fact the supply of the smaller iPads was not able to keep pace with the demand for the device.
"We believe the lack of supply of the 16 GB versions had a measurable impact on Black Friday (iPad) Mini sales," Munster wrote.
Compare that with what he observed about Microsoft. According to Munster Microsoft's retail store had 47 percent less traffic than Apple's nearby store, Munster said.
During two hours of observing customer traffic, Piper Jaffray noted that shoppers at the Microsoft store bought 3.5 items per hour (mostly Xbox games) versus 17.2 products per hour for the Apple store across the hall.
In effect customers are willing to pay for the tried and tested Apple products rather than experiment with untried Microsoft products.
According to analysts customers are waiting for the company to release a version of Surface running the Windows 8 operating system on Intel chips. Current Surface models run Windows RT on low-power ARM-based chips.