In a post yesterday, I waved some red flags over a report that touted skyrocketing growth of Android-powered tablets and the impact on the Apple's iPad. Specifically, I questioned the headlines around the big numbers for Android and cautioned that things aren't always what they seem.
And today, here comes another research finding that drives home my point: Apparently, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet - the iPad's only real competitor last year - has an unusually high return rate. From the November debut of the Galaxy Tab through January 15, ITG Investment Research found that, thorough December 31, the return rate was about 13 percent, according to a post on the All Things Digital blog. Add in the number of holiday purchases returned and that number creeps up toward 16 percent.
By comparison, the return rate on the iPad is about 2 percent.
Of course, none of this really matters too much. The return rate on the Samsung Galaxy Tab is hardly an indicator of how well Google's mobile OS will do in the marketplace in the coming year. It was widely accepted that 1) Samsung rushed this product to market and 2) the "Froyo" version of Android wasn't optimized for tablet computing.
Later this month, Motorola is expected to release the Xoom tablet, a device that will run on the next version of Android, called "Honeycomb." That OS will be showcased tomorrow at an event that will be held on the Google campus in Silicon Valley. (I'll be at the event, so look for live coverage on ZDNet.)
When all is said and done, you really just have to give 2010 to Apple and its iPad. But 2011 will be a different story. There will definitely be some real competition this year and while RIM is expected to also launch its Playbook tablet this year, those running on Google's Android OS are expected to be the real challenger to Apple's dominance.