Microsoft to replenish Surface Pro 3 supplies within two weeks

Microsoft underestimated international demand for Surface Pro 3 based on the US response to the launch.

Image: Microsoft

Not long after Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 3 into a slew of new markets , the company is reporting limited supplies of its hybrid device in some countries.

Suggesting either strong demand for the Surface 3 or limited supply, Microsoft on Friday said it was working to restock supplies of the device in some of the 25 markets where it was launched in late August. Countries where certain models have either sold out or where the Surface Pro 3 is hard to find include Australia, China, Germany, New Zealand, Korea, and the UK.

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It's been a year since Microsoft was burned by its $900m Surface RT inventory writedown , so it's understandable if the company is being more cautious on stock levels today. However, Microsoft has consistently found it difficult to calibrate supply and demand for Surface products. While it made too many RTs on its first attempt, the Surface Pro was  marred by shortages , as was the Surface Pro 2 , which eventually helped the company double revenues year on year for the second quarter

According to Microsoft, the new shortages were caused by not guessing international interest correctly, based on the US response to the Surface Pro 3 when it was released there.

"Due to the response, Surface Pro 3 is in limited supply in some markets. Given the interest that we saw as part of our US launch, retailers ordered what we thought was a healthy amount of Surface Pro 3s for these new markets," Brian Hall, Microsoft's general manager for Surface marketing, said in post on the Surface blog.

"It turns out that we didn't ship enough. At some retailers in Australia, Surface sold out by lunchtime on launch day. In China, retailers are sold out of the Core i5 and i7 models. And devices are hard to come by in Germany, New Zealand, Korea, and at one of the largest retailers in the United Kingdom."

However, at least in Australia, Surface Pro 3s still appear to be available at large retailers such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.

As the company said when it ran out of Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 supplies, it's "committed to replenishing supply as quickly as possible". Hall added: "We should be in a much better position in the next week or two."

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