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Microsoft Surface to be distributed through Suning stores in China [Updated]

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The much anticipated launch of the Microsoft Surface tablets is less than 20 days away. So far, word is that the product will only be sold through Microsoft's own retail stores. Alternative retailers remains largely guesswork. If that's the only destined distribution channel, it means relatively limited availability for Americans, and a big red "no way" to everyone elsewhere.

According to latest leaks from Chinese site WPDang though, the situation will not be that bad. At least in China, Surfaces will be sold through Suning (reads "soo-ning"), one of the country's leading consumer gadget retail chains.

If true, the story makes Suning the first known third-party distributor of Surface tablets. The chain has extensive reach in China, plus a great relationship with Microsoft as it was selected as the primary distributor of Windows Phone devices. Back in May 2012, Suning's president went to Redmond to palaver with Steve Ballmer about potential cooperation on Windows and Windows Phone products. Apparently Surface is part of it.

The reasoning goes like this: if it could happen here, it could happen elsewhere. For those whose country isn't fortunate enough to be covered by Microsoft's own retail network, please keep an eye on your local leading gadget sellers--there's a good chance they are going to carry Surface.

Speaking of distribution, availability and market coverage, there's some interesting note I would like to share with everyone:

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Microsoft's new store in New York (Huntington Station) versus...

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...The only Microsoft offline "flagship store" in China I know of. A true disgrace.

If Microsoft wants any availability in this market, they just HAVE TO turn to somebody.

Readers, if you have heard about Surface availability through your local distributors, or have funny snapshots of your local Microsoft store, please don't hesitate to share.

Update:

A Windows Phone app discovery service "WindowsPhone应用推荐" just revealed on the social media site Sina weibo that that they've got hold on a Suning staffer training sheet. According to the pic, Suning employees just had a Surface sales training session about 12 hours ago. This makes the rumor even more credible. The guys at WindowsPhone应用推荐 is now trying to uncover Suning's pricing.

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Source: WPDang, WindowsPhone应用推荐

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Reader comments

Microsoft Surface to be distributed through Suning stores in China [Updated]

34 Comments

Hope so ...really want to see them in stores and easily available, just dnt know what MS see planning tho

Ye I read that at time too. Not quite sure if they were just stating an Interest in selling it or actually had spoken to MS about selling it. If rumours are true then its WiFi only at first so not sure Carphone warehouse would be the best fit.....better off in pc world etc surely

OK.... so we are getting all the different places that can and will be selling them.  So now how about some pricing?  It's only a few weeks away and it would be nice just to have a price.  Please!

Persuade her. ;) That's the real hard task every married geek must face anyway. Me is currently trying to talk my wife into approving the petition to upgrade both our phones (Lumia 920 & HTC 8X, mine & hers respectively), plus a Surface RT, all at the same time. Crazy hard, still trying...

Hey, it could be worse.
I'm buying Lumia 920 and one of the i5 tablets. That will set me back for around 1600 euros.

A couple of sources in Australia are also reporting that one of our nation wide retailers has an exclusive on surface. Currently people are speculating that store to be jb hifi.

It will be Harvey Norman, maybe both but doubt it. 100% Harvey Norman will have it, all their tech guys that went to MS presentation last week on Gold Coast were given training and hands on with Surface and L920 and told they are all getting a free Surface at launch

I really am hyped about it and availability in Greece... Was aiming for the Pro but can't wait 3 months so I might gift the RT to my family when the Pro is out =)

Really?! That's wonderful~!! Amazing!!
I thought I couldn''t buy a Surface in China. But now it seems I will.

I hope they announce pre order soon. I would like to have my Surface ON the 26th. I am leaving the country for 2 weeks the following Monday.

This is going to be a very expensive next few months, If the pricing is right I'll be all over a Surface, but a WP8 handset is my top priority.  I'm just glad there is a Microsoft store 15 min away so I can try it out first.

The best part is the associates in the store actually know how to properly demonstrate the power of a WP unlike the so called "sales associates" in the AT&T store (The same thing happened when we bought our Palm Pre Pluses). When we were looking for a new phone for my girlfriend we went in and none of them knew what the heck they were talking about. Luckily I was able to convince her to go with the L900, after the Microsoft store opened a few months later we went in and it was like night and day they even showed us a few features we weren't using, I still catch her trying to swipe up to close an app though.

From the information i have seen online, i think the cheapest Surface RT will be approx. 300USD - but no more than 350USD.
 

Surface RT pricing in my opinion has this to consider.
$200 - Heck, ya! I'll take 2 or 1 and put the rest to a Pro tablet. The heck with the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7.
$300 - Nice! Definite purchase...with keyboard I'd go up to $350.
$400 - Not bad, but I could have 2 Kindle Fires or Nexus 7's for that or Almost a new iPad...MS Office makes it sensible to the wife.
$500 - Really? Awww, come on man?! I could get an iPad for this. Or a cheap laptop. I can only justify it now based on MS Office and the specs on the Surface are better at the low end.
$600 - Hell, NO! Isn't going to happen now. I'm beginning to think the pricing is to not piss off OEM's. The hell with OEM's, give me the Surface at COST + $50 and we're good!

I BET!!! It will be at best buy.. Funy thing Microsoft owned part of best buy.. Would that not be there stores then???????

Harvey Norman in Australia WILL have Surface for sale and as I understand they will also have the Lumia 920. As they are an Optus carrier I assume it (920) will be available on Optus contracts. Not sure yet if the phone can be bought outright.
Couldnt confirm sale date as Microsoft told my friend they were not sure of stock levels but it would make sense to me that if MS has tied in with Harvey Norman then they would have stock ready for 29th.
My friend who works there knows to hang on to a black Surface and black 920 on the day of release. Cant wait