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Samsung reveals Galaxy Tab's real sales are 'quite small'

updated 12:35 pm EST, Mon January 31, 2011

Samsung admits Galaxy Tab sales poorer than claims

Samsung during the call for its fall quarter results admitted that its actual sales of the Galaxy Tab weren't nearly as strong as claimed. Although it had said it sold 1.5 million Galaxy Tabs in 2010 and two million by this month, company official Lee Young-hee when pressed said that these were only sales to carriers and retail stores, not real customers. She wouldn't say how many had shipped but was aware that it was "quite small" relative to the number reaching stores.

The sales performance was "quite OK," Lee said, but also "wasn't as fast as we expected." She was hopeful for 2011 tablet sales but saw the category as too fresh to make predictions.

Samsung's disclosure could significantly alter the real market share for Android tablets, which Strategy Analytics said had jumped to 22 percent in the fall owed almost entirely to the Galaxy Tab. Apple when it reports iPad shipments also isn't talking sales but can assume that the majority of shipments are being sold and has usually just three to four weeks of inventory left at most.

No attempt was made during the call to explain the relatively poor uptake. Critics have usually cited the lack of a Wi-Fi-only model that wasn't made available until this year and Samsung's frequent reliance on carrier-discounted 3G versions. While it superficially lowered the price of the Galaxy Tab below that of the iPad it was designed to beat, the frequent requirement for a contract at that price would often leave a buyer spending hundreds of dollars more in service, even if they only needed 3G sporadically. In the US, a Galaxy Tab is only $30 less than a 3G iPad when bought off-contract despite the smaller screen and shorter battery life.

The device's nature as a stopgap tablet may also have played a part. Many fans were already aware that Google's true tablet OS, Android 3.0, was due early this year. Such knowledge could have left many waiting for the next-generation Galaxy Tab to avoid buying a short-lived product. Since the current model doesn't have the 720p screen or dual-core processor that has been a staple of Android 3.0 tablets shown so far, it could be left running at best Android 2.3 and more likely 2.2.

Only one other major mobile platform maker has used a similar strategy in recent months. Microsoft has so far refused to discuss real Windows Phone 7 sales for the fall in favor of talking only about sales to carriers. It's commonly thought to be using a similar strategy to Samsung, where declining to mention the number of real activations helps mask significantly lower demand from customers. [via WSJ]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. dpicardi

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2006


    God bless Samsung

    for being honest. Damn that is refreshing.

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006


    Check Later

    For where abouts of: "company official Lee Young-hee"

  1. Alfiejr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008


    Pop Goes The Bubble

    maybe the Galaxy Tab has sold poorly because, you know, it is really just a crummy product.

    all the bloggers and pundits and "analysts" that hyped it and its "two million sales" now have a big plate of crow to eat. let's just hope for their sakes they weren't dumb enough to waste their money and actually buy one too.

    guess it really turned out to be, you know, "DOA."

  1. droz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009



    Been calling this one from the start. It was obvious when all the carriers were slashing the price after only a couple weeks that the Tab was in trouble. 2 million shipped and they wont even say how many to the end consumer because they are embarrassed. DOA.

  1. legacyb4

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2001


    The only future you can predict on tablets

    is that Apple will continue selling the iPads by the truckload for the foreseeable future.

    I wonder what the regifting/passdown statistics are like for devices other than the iPod/iPad/iPhone?

  1. freddymac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Bravo Samsung

    At least they fest up on this. Unlike M$ and WP7.

  1. global.philosopher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Someone should fire the Galaxy Tab designer....

    for not shamelessly copying the iPad form factor!

  1. chippie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009



    What is a tablets to look like? An accordion? An A football? Further, the galaxy tab is rectangular like most books and magazines, which brings me to a big problem that I have with the ipad. It is square! Unlike nearly all printed media. Jobs got the shape wrong. And I imagine apple will eventually change this. No need to wonder why magazines are not selling on the ipad. Their formats are rectangular, not square. Duh, to apple. Also most screens in use today are rectangular( T.V.'s, computer monitors and smartphone dispays). Rectangles are currently the default viewing form factor. Squares are so late eighties.

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