Mobile
Commentary
1/28/2011
11:15 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Samsung Sells 2 Million Tablets

Samsung says sales of its Galaxy Tab Android tablet have surpassed the two million mark after three months. Can it maintain that pace?

Samsung says sales of its Galaxy Tab Android tablet have surpassed the two million mark after three months. Can it maintain that pace?The Samsung Galaxy Tab was launched globally in mid-October. It reached U.S. shores in mid-November, and is available from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. By early December, Samsung had sold one million of the Android-powered tablets. It boosted its target for 2010 to 1.5 million. Sales of the device have now reached 2 million worldwide after three months.

Samsung didn't offer a breakdown of Galaxy Tab sales by market. None of the U.S. carriers has announced sales numbers for the Galaxy Tab, and likely won't any time soon. When it launched in the U.S., it cost between $400 and $650, depending on which carrier it was purchased from.

Since mid-December, however, U.S. carriers have been discounting it heavily. First prices dropped from $400 to $350, then to $300, and lately down to $250. For U.S. carriers to be discounting the device so heavily can only mean that it isn't flying off store shelves here. This leads me to question how retailers/carriers in other markets are pushing the device. Are they discounting it as much, or is it actually selling well without subsidies?

We know there's hunger in the market for tablets, as Apple sold 15 million of them in 2010. RIM, Motorola, LG and myriad other companies have announced an astonishing 100+ tablets. Many of them will hit the market in the next month or two. (Assuredly, many of them will die off before reaching store shelves.)

The original Tab, as it is, will soon by outmatched by many of Samsung's competitors. A refresh of the device (yes, after just three months) will be a really good idea if Samsung wants the Tab to remain a leader. Samsung has let on that it will be upgrading the Tab in the coming months, likely adding 4G support for at least one of the U.S. carriers.

The Motorola Xoom, RIM PlayBook, LG Slate, and iPad 2 will all make the tablet an intensively competitive place to do business. Samsung did well to beat these players to the market with an Android tablet, but now it has to innovate if it wishes to keep up with its peers.

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