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Despite ‘Smooth’ Sales, Galaxy Tabs Have High Return Rates



Samsung has gone on record to state that the company was misinterpreted in its statement earlier, which the media has been reporting as ‘small‘ sales of Galaxy Tab Android tablets. According to Samsung reps, the statement should have read that sales were smooth. Despite all the PR efforts in ironing out its sales number, the tablet’s low 2 million units of sales to retailers (not to end users) is also plagued by high return rates when sold to users.

According to All Things D, ITG Investment Research has been tracking sales and returns of the Galaxy Tab at around 6,000 locations and found unusually high rates of return. ITG reports that return rates for the tablets were around 13 percent through December, but increased after the Holiday gift season with rates of 16 percent.

Compared to iPads sold at Verizon Wireless stores with return rates of approximately 2 percent, the rates reported by ITG does not sound “smooth,” however Samsung wants to put it.

The high return rates may not be surprising. Despite sporting a high-end Hummingbird processor and a high resolution 7-inch screen, the Galaxy Tab was launched with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface on top of Android 2.2, which supports Adobe Flash 10.1 Mobile. The problem here is that even Google itself has admitted that Android 2.2 was not designed for a tablet. As a result, manufacturers, such as Samsung, had to work to re-tool select apps, such as the device’s Contacts, Calendar, and Email apps, to take advantage of the larger tablet screen real estate. Despite that work, many third-party apps only scaled up and did not provide a user experience of a tablet. On the other hand, many apps created for the iPad were designed with a tablet user interface in mind, offering more control and with multiple panes.

In order to properly compare iPad to Android tablets, we’ll have to wait until Android 3.0 Honeycomb launches. The Motorola Xoom tablet, which will be among the first to be released with Android 3.0, will debut on Verizon Wireless. At that point, we’ll have something to compare sales and return rates on the Android side with the iPad or iPad 2 for Verizon.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Leyland Needham

    02/03/2011 at 2:40 am

    I have a galaxy tab so I think I have a better idea on why users return it.

    The majority of the apps I’ve wanted have worked, and the ones that don’t I’ve easily have found better alternatives. Also apps that don’t work for other devices (get bad ratings for it) don’t seem to have any problems. So I don’t see this as being a user return reason.

    My experience is with the verizon version, so I don’t know how specific my issues are. Like for example I know verizon version doesn’t support bluetooth keyboards, mice and game controllers, but I’ve heard the sprint version does.

    The first issue I came across was the terrible performing default web browser. In fact there were times when I was in another program and it locked up for a while or became sluggish, and when I looked in the task manager it was the browser consuming 100% of the cpu! But installing the free Dolphin HD browser app fixed this.

    The default launcher was also losing my app short cuts every once in a while, so I started using the Go Launcher and not only did it work better but had a lot of cool additional features.

    One thing that kind made me disappointed also was that there wasn’t a netflix app, or amazon vod app, but this is a problem with android in general.

    The audio settings can be bad. For example, using bluetooth to play music on my radio doesn’t use a separate volume, so you have to constantly change volumes back and forth. And also audio levels don’t seem to go low enough, it’s very loud. And the speaker are on one side of the device so in landscape sound comes from the left.

    Apps have never been a big issue, in fact the verizon version only came with 2gb and I’ve had to do some shuffling to install new apps, I have close to 300 apps installed!

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