Samsung Android tablet sales smaller than thought
When shipments don't equal sales
A Samsung executive has admitted that the Korean giant hasn't put quite as many Android tablets in the hands of punters as its recent claim that it has shipped 2m of the things suggests.
Speaking at its earnings conference late last week, Samsung executive Lee Young-hee implied that sales of Galaxy Tab tablets to consumers were not impressive. She didn't state stats, the Wall Street Journal reports, but said that sales to end users were "quite smooth".
She contrasted that with the "quite aggressive" sales to retail channels and network operators, suggesting to us that while Samsung has sent out 2m Galaxy Tabs, rather a lot of them are still sitting on shop shelves.
This calls into question figures put out by researcher Strategy Analytics yesterday which put Android's share of the emerging tablet market at 21.6 per cent in Q4 2010. That figure is based on Samsung shipping 2m units - the vast majority of the 2.3m Android tablets SA calculates were shipped during the quarter.
The key word here is 'shipped', which covers units sold by vendors to their retailers and other resellers.
Like SA, most market watchers collate figures from vendors - shipment figures - rather than over-the-counter 'sales' - units bought by real consumers. The few research firms who track the latter - GfK in Europe and NPD in the US, for example - guard numbers jealously: they are their bread and butter.
The justification for tracking shipments rather than sales is that, thanks to modern sales channel management systems, the two are usually not very different. But as Samsung's example shows, that's not always the case.
Sauce for the goose is just as tasty on the gander, and it's worth recalling that Apple's numbers are shipments too, not sales. Apple's impressive numbers say nothing about how many iPads are in punters' hands, either.
But we suspect it's rather closer to the shipments figure than Samsung's has turned out to be. ®
I wonder why people might not be buying as many Android Tablets when Android 3.0 hasn't been released yet......
I think that part of the issue here is that the pad market is still a young one and the total customer base contains a relatively high proportion of people with a bit more tech familiarity than is typical in other markets. To take an extreme example the average punter on the lookout for a pad probably is a bit more tech-aware than the average punter looking for a new telly. Thus the proportion of punters who are aware that there is some very good kit on the immediate horizon PLUS are aware that Android 3 is the os to have if you are in the market for a pad is probably quite high. The Sammy is quite an attractive piece but it will soon be superceded hardware wise, it does not have Android 3 (and if I know Samsung it either can't run or they wouldn't upgrade you anyway) and it is overpriced. There is likely to be a lot of good stuff this year and next but (IMO) the tab is not it - not at that money.
Waaaayy too expensive. There's your problem right there.
simple market forces
When sales are low, your price is too high for the value that your product provides
I would wait until tablet's are on the market with the following (vendors: take note this is free marketing research):
- Around the £150 mark (to keep the pain levels in my wallet at acceptable levels)
- Android 3 as a minimum
- Camera (front and back)
- GPS receiver
- movement sensor
- Multi touch screen
- 3G optional for on the move web access
- Sufficient battery life (fill in you favourite number of hours)
- Proper keyboard, with mouse connectivity
- Docking station (so I can use it on a desk while recharging the batteries)
- Fashionable leather carry pouch (I don't always wear clothes that are 7"/8"/10" wide)
- Not interested in a tablet/phone
Make it cheaper then
I think the Galaxy Tab is a nice device, but damn is it expensive and it's hard to see why.