Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

Summary: The two million Galaxy Tabs previously reported by Samsung as sales, and reported on this blog, is really the number of units "sold" into the partner distribution system, and not consumer sales.

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Companies need to realize that eventually the truth comes out, no matter what. This is especially true when it comes to product sales numbers, the true indicator of how well a product is received by consumers. Companies have a tendency to mix distributor sales numbers with consumer sales, and those can be two very different things. The company most recently outed is Samsung according to the WSJ. The two million Galaxy Tabs previously reported by Samsung as sales, and reported on this blog, is really the number of units "sold" into the partner distribution system, and not consumer sales.

This is a significant difference, as there are no sales numbers shared by Samsung's partners for the Galaxy Tab. The partners, retailers and telcos primarily, may be selling these units like crazy but the fact is we just don't know. Samsung may be happy to ship 2 million Tabs to partners, but if they are sitting on store shelves somewhere that is not the same thing as selling like hotcakes.

To be fair, most retail partners that companies like Samsung deal with do not report actual sales numbers. It's never clear if a given product is selling well to consumers or not. The distributor sales numbers, or shipping numbers, are often the only statistics we have to go by. Most likely Samsung's partners are selling a fair number of Galaxy Tabs, as the numbers reported by Samsung rose from 1 million after a month to 2 million in 3 months. That would imply some partners were increasing orders, something normally not done unless units were being sold.

The problem is we now have a big question mark concerning the Galaxy Tab, and how well it is selling to customers. This affects all analyst numbers about Android tablets in general, as the Galaxy Tab is viewed to be the one product actually shipping in significant numbers. Shipping, but perhaps not selling.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Samsung, Tablets

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37 comments
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  • ..but who didn't know that?

    is that some big revelation?? everyone already knew that.. they were also outed when they gave the 1million number
    doctorSpoc
    • ok.. the fact that she said that consumer sales were "quite small"..

      @doctorSpoc.. that's new.. wow.. little too honest there i think.. wonder is she's got a job come monday morning.. lol..
      doctorSpoc
  • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

    [I]Most likely Samsung?s partners are selling a fair number of Galaxy Tabs, as the numbers reported by Samsung rose from 1 million after a month to 2 million in 3 months.[/I]
    Or it could mean that Samsung rolled out their Galaxy Tab to more countries.
    MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • Sales are sales...

      @MG537 ...no matter the country. People outside the US buy things too - often at a higher price, even.
      Stormbringer_57th
      • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

        @Stormbringer_57th
        ". . . often at a higher price, even." Absolutely correct. You've no idea how much extra products and software cost in Australia - and our dollar is on parity or better!
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

    All I know is, I will be waiting on the doopstep to get the upcoming Infuse phone. Tablets lack power for my main duties (program compiling and graphic design) and all I need for data retrieval is a smartphone.
    HypnoToad72
  • Independent data from Flurry

    Flurry reports independently that they measured almost 1M Galaxy Tab activations in December alone. This made the Galaxy Tab the number 3 most popular Android device in that month. Clearly these activations are being done with units sold to customers.<br><br><a href="http://blog.flurry.com/bid/54035/Android-Special-Report-Is-Samdroid-the-new-Wintel" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://blog.flurry.com/bid/54035/Android-Special-Report-Is-Samdroid-the-new-Wintel</a>

    Flurry's independent analytics data does not jibe with the "quite small" statement from the Samsung executive. Why?

    Either:
    a) Flurry's data is wrong.
    b) "quite small" was misspoken or mistranslated.
    c) Samsung doesn't want the world to know how many Galaxy Tabs they sold.
    rlawler
    • so when samsung says 2 they actually mean 0.8-0.9.. lol..

      @rlawler
      doctorSpoc
      • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

        @doctorSpoc December is not the same as Q4.
        rlawler
    • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

      @rlawler You've been plying this information in other places and were shouted down. If Samsung had sold a million units they would have said so. "Quite Small" is NOT a million units. Flurry are wrong.
      jgpmolloy
      • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

        @john@... Heh! Whenever fanboyz are SHOUTING you know the truth can't be far away... hiding under a rock!

        I trust Flurry's numbers more than Samsung's vague qualitative statement. Flurry's numbers are based on a count of unique new devices, and I know their metrics to be generally accurate. (That's why they got Jobs so pissed off last year.)
        rlawler
    • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

      It turns out it was (b). She said "quite smooth" not "quite small".

      http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/01/31/samsung-galaxy-tab-sales-actually-quite-small/
      rlawler
  • Just regarding ZDNet bloggers

    I know that Samsung has sold at least four tablets to ZDNet bloggers. Well, at least that's a start. Grin.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

    Where's the indignant disgust and outrage voiced by DonnieBoy and friends at the <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/microsoft-ships-2-million-windows-phone-7-handsets-no-word-on-how-many-sold/11114">WinPhone7 sales numbers</a>?
    bitcrazed
    • Fair enough, though many have claimed

      that companies like MS, Samsung, ect really do have the numbers, no matter what anybody says.

      So now that you've cornered them with this, they'll be by to leave some indignantly disgusted post. ;)
      John Zern
      • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

        @John Zern At the end of the day, you have to admit that Microsoft has a history of inflating numbers (lying). Remember that Samsung is a hardware vendor, unlike Microsoft, and getting the hard numbers take a bit more work. The truth is Samsung stood up and admitted that the numbers might be optimistic. Microsoft proclaimed that 2.1 million users had windows phone 7 series devices in two months. Never letting it be known that, Microsoft had been shipping license stickers out since the beginning of October. Now also in a quarter where both Apple and Google announced the activation numbers for their products, Microsoft gives a vague number and says Were better than the others. Someone needs to kick monkey boy out of Microsoft, and replace him with someone that has vision, rather than throw chairs.
        Rick_K
      • I disagree, Rick. MS said they sold licenses

        while the users here claimed they where lying because 2 million people didn't buy WP7.<br>Also, Apple forces you to activate the iPhone through iTunes, so Apple can easilly track that. WP7 only requires live ID for the marketplace.<br>It's far easier for Samsung to tell how many of their phones where sold off the shelf then it would be MS.<br><br>MS doesn't even have numbers on how many are out there yet, unless the manufactures tell them. Samsung could be sitting on 50,000 licenses at the moment waiting for their next manufacturing schedule, MS wouldn't know those numbers even.
        John Zern
      • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

        @John Zern
        So Microsoft has been shipping stickers for over 4 months now and still doesn?t know if they are selling at all? Remember approximately 90,000 went to Microsoft employees (and to some families of said employees). I guess Microsoft shouldn?t claim that they?re doing great, if they can?t even tell if the market is accepting their product.
        Rick_K
      • RE: Samsung comes clean, Galaxy Tab numbers not consumer sales

        @Rick_K [b]So Microsoft has been shipping stickers for over 4 months now and still doesnt know if they are selling at all?[/b]

        Like I've said before AT&T and whatever other carrier is selling the WP7 devices should be the ones who should be giving sales/ activation figures. And the manufacturers are the ones who should be giving production figures. Microsoft supplied the figures on the amount of licenses sold... they've done their part.
        athynz
  • inferior numbers for an inferior product

    This revelation should shock exactly no one, other than those predisposed to see the world through Android-colored glasses. The Galaxy Tab is a rushed me-too device running an inferior operating system for its form factor, and has no software upgrade path. Samsung tried to play their customers, but the market didn't play along.
    buddhistMonkey