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Only yesterday, MacLife.com reported on a story circulating that appeared to show Android-based tablets were becoming a real threat to the iPad’s market dominance. Unfortunately, the sales figures for the dominant Android tablet thus far, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, were not quite accurate.
AppleInsider is reporting that Samsung has backpedaled on earlier statements that their Android-based Galaxy Tab had reached two million units sold in the fourth quarter of last year. As it turns out, those numbers refer only to “sell-in” inventory that gets shipped to retailers -- not units actually sold to end consumers.
The reality is that actual sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab to consumers were “quite small,” although the company isn’t sharing those potentially painful numbers with the world just yet, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"As you heard, our sell-in was quite aggressive and this first quarterly result was quite, you know, fourth-quarter unit [figure] was around two million,” said Samsung’s Lee Young-hee in a statement to clarify unit sales of the Galaxy Tab. “Then, in terms of sell-out, we also believe it was quite small. We believe, as the introduction of new device, it was required to have consumers invest in the device. So therefore, even though sell-out wasn’t as fast as we expected, we still believe sell-out was quite OK.”
While “sell-in” refers to sales to distributors and retailers, “sell-out” is the more important of the two, referring to “the actual sales made by retailers to consumers,” AppleInsider clarifies.
In what may spell even worse news for Samsung, a new survey reveals that 16 percent of Samsung Galaxy Tab buyers actually wind up returning the device, compared with only two percent of iPad owners.
According to All Things Digital’s Digital Daily, a survey of nearly 6,000 wireless stores in the U.S. conducted by ITG Investment Research showed “the return rate for the Galaxy Tab was said to be 13 percent in December 2010, but the rate increased after the holidays,” to 16 percent through January 15.
The tablet market is expected to heat up this year, with iPad rivals coming fast and furious from Motorola, RIM, HP and others.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of AndroidOS.in)