tBy Shira Ovide
Microsoft lifted the veil on Surface revenue for the first time.Getty Images
Microsoft for the first time has said how much revenue its Surface tablets have brought to the software company.
The number, for the year ended June 30, was $853 million–a smaller amount than the $900 million charge that Microsoft MSFT +0.98% recently took on on the product line.
Microsoft disclosed the Surface figure in its annual financial report, which was filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company started selling Surface last October, but Microsoft previously has been coy about how the device has sold.
Partners that help Microsoft make one of the versions of Surface, called Surface RT, previously have said sales fell short of their expectations. Microsoft earlier in July slashed prices of that model–which uses an ARM-based chip and a variant of Windows 8 that can’t run older software.
At the revenue Microsoft disclosed for Surface–and assuming all units sold were the $499 Surface RT–unit sales would at most have been 1.7 million in the 12 months ended in June. By comparison, Apple AAPL +1.23% sold 14.6 million iPads in a single quarter ended in June.
Microsoft said that the $900 million charge reflected costs associated with making the price cut move and writing down the value of associated components.
Following the disclosure Tuesday, a Microsoft spokesman sent a statement by email.
“We recently reduced the price of Surface RT by $150,” he wrote. “We’re confident this pricing adjustment, along with our dramatically expanded geographic availability and distribution channels, will help accelerate Surface adoption and position us better for long-term success.
“Surface is currently available in 29 markets and more than 10,000 retail locations. We also broadened the availability of Surface to our business and institutional customers through a new channel-expansion program that allows commercial customers to purchase Surface devices from authorized resellers in the U.S., and we will be expanding this program to additional countries in the months ahead.