Why the Surface Pro 3 keyboard should be sold seperately
As I don't know the wholesale costs to retailers for the Surface Pro 3, or the Type Keyboard, I have to do my math based on the MSRP for these devices.
The main reason MS is selling the keyboards as a separate SKU is a very smart one.
Bundling the keyboard with the Surface Pro means that retailers can have more stock on hand, for less money. It also means that consumers get more choice. There are people who will buy the SP3 without any keyboard. There is also a good chance that in the future we'll see different style keyboards available for it. Personally I'm hoping another Touch Cover becomes available, but I know I belong to a small minority.
However, just looking at things as they stand right now, if a retailer was to carry only ONE of the five Surface Pro models bundled with each colour of the keyboards, they would have $28,960 of inventory sitting on the shelf.
Buy selling the keyboard as a separate SKU, a retailer could have TWO of each of the five different Surface Pro 3 models on hand, and two of each of the four colours of the Type Keyboard on hand for only $14,222. Restocking the thinner, lighter keyboard as a separate unit to meet demand depending on each stores needs is also considerably cheaper and more flexible as well.
So the next time you see someone insisting that MS should include the keyboard, send them here for a little dose of retail reality.