The three companies sold a large number of Windows 8 PCs last week as consumers endured massive crowds and long lines on the biggest shopping day of the year.
In conducting a retail survey, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry found that Acer and Sony produced the "hottest-selling Windows 8 notebooks." According to Chowdhry, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Stores had a "very strong promotion" on the Acer Aspire V5 notebook, which is powered by an Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) Core i5 processor. He estimates that each Microsoft Store had about 500 units. "[They] were completely sold out within the first 30 minutes," Chowdhry wrote in a note to investors and reporters. During the promotional period, Microsoft sold the Aspire V5 for $399.
Not to be outdone, some Microsoft Stores also sold out of a $1,500 touch-enabled Ultrabook from Sony. "Sony Vaio Touch Intel i7 was the fastest selling Windows 8 notebook in the high-end category," Chowdhry added.
While this may be the year that the desktop PC died, Dell has not given up on the market. And it's a good thing, too -- if it had, it could not have built the fastest-selling all-in-one Windows 8 desktop. On Black Friday, Dell's XPS One 27 earned that crown.
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Chowdhry said that while he could not get any color on the number of units available, the converged view was that the "demand was too high" for Dell's $2,000 machine.
Not every Windows 8 device performed well on Black Friday. Chowdhry estimated that Microsoft lost one in five sales on the Surface RT because of the ARM (NASDAQ: ARMH) chipset. "Had Microsoft first shipped Surface on Intel chips vs. on ARM chips, sales of Surface would have been 5X better than current levels," the analyst wrote.
Regardless, Chowdhry found that Microsoft "had decent sales on Windows Surface RT."
"We observed a lot of interest in Microsoft Surface, but interest was not necessarily leading to sales," he said. "We spoke to no less than 30 people, who showed the most interest in Microsoft Surface RT, but did not make the purchase. 'We are going to wait for the Pro version of the Surface, as that will run on Intel Chips,' was the unanimous view we got."
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