05:12 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Samsung Galaxy Tab Production Halved?

At least one analyst is bucking the bullish predictions and believes that the Samsung Galaxy Tab is already faltering in the market.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab -- reviewed here -- has barely reached store shelves in most countries, yet already its demise is being heralded. Rodman & Renshaw's Ashok Kumar said in a recent report to clients that the Galaxy Tab is not selling well.

"Poor sell through of Galaxy [Tab] has caused Samsung to dramatically revise down production volumes," he wrote. "And on Dell's Tablet [the Streak], less said the better."

Kumar says that supply chain checks indicate that Samsung has dropped production of the Tab by half. The Tab will be available from five U.S. carriers by next week, and sells for between $400 and $650 depending on the carrier.

For its part, Samsung spokesperson Kim Titus said to Bloomberg, "We do expect this device to be a very hot holiday device." Reviews for the Tab have been lukewarm, with some web sites skewering the Android-based tablet mercilessly.

Kumar says the Tab isn't the only tablet that will suffer during the fourth quarter of this year. He notes that Apple's iPad -- the market leader -- will also likely ship fewer units than previously hoped. He believes Apple is on track to build about 2 million iPads per month between now and the end of the year, which is less than the 3 million per month that others had predicted. "This shortfall will be the second quarter in a row."

Kumar concludes, "We do not see Tablets go the way of netbooks or a flash in the pan. But if current trends continue, the Tablet market may not end as much more than iPads or a tweener product between smart phones and next generation thin-and-light notebooks a la MacBook Air."

I would have loved to hear more from Kumar on the Dell Streak. Dell's five-inch, Android-based tablet has been on sale for a while now, but I have yet to see one anywhere other than in a Dell representative's hands. The Streak is less a tablet and more an over-sized Android smartphone. Some of the best Android smartphones have 4.3-inch displays, just under the Streak's 5-incher.

Will Kumar's predictions turn out to be true? Hard to say. His track record is not the best when it comes to Apple. However, Apple's most recentl quarterly report disappointed many on Wall Street, who expected much higher iPad sales numbers. Is the market for tablets truly soft? Is the interest there? Or can devices like the Galaxy Tab help to break the market open further?

According to Kumar, the answer is no. I, on the other hand, am not so skeptical.

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