The Galaxy Tab was often a major point of contention in our comments late last year. It was probably the number one device that was referenced as a major competitor to the iPad, and that was before it even shipped. A lot of Android fans thought that the Galaxy Tab would easily knock the iPad off and reign supreme. Today there’s mixed news for the iPad vs. Android / Galaxy Tab debate. First, Android has eatten up 22% of the tablet market, and secondly, Samsung hasn’t really sold many Galaxy Tabs to consumers. Out of the 2 million Galaxy Tabs sold during the fourth quarter last year, very few of the devices were actually sold to consumers. Instead, the majority of sales went to distributors.

How interesting is that? It makes you wonder about some of these statistics and earnings reports that we see these days. Clearly most numbers have nothing to do with devices in consumers’ hands. I don’t know for certain, but out of the 22% of Android devices sold last quarter, how many of those made it into customers’ hands? How many are going to distributors?

Here’s a nice little quote from the Samsung’s Head of Product Planning from back in September 2010:

  • WP Hong “didn’t see any features [on the Galaxy Tab] that were weaker than the Apple iPad
  • “Its advantages are: communications features, something we have that doesn’t exist in the iPad, and we expect consumers to enjoy video chat”
  • “Previous tablets are seen more as ‘living room devices’, because people are putting them on a table or on their lap, and have to use two hands to hold. “This means their device is defined as living room, where ours is on the go”

It looks like the public doesn’t agree.

We haven’t been able to track down much information on that particular statistic, but given the news that the Galaxy Tab mostly went to distributors, we’re inclined to think that a large number of the 22% in sales also went to distributors as well. We’re speculating, and not stating that with any degree of certainty. For that matter, this is a two way street. How many of Apple’s iPads went to distributors? Proof positive that these “studies” are crap to begin with?

If informal studies, which include me walking around the city, are any indication, not much has caught up with the iPad in the tablet market yet.  I’ve yet to actually see an Android tablet in the wild.

Everyone wants a piece of the iPad pie these days, and it’s no surprise that the likes of RIM, Samsung, and others are trying to bring competition to the market. Apple’s been running away with consumer level tablets for almost a full year now. Shortly, Apple will be announcing the iPad 2, and some of these competitors will be forced to deal with a new iPad, effectively putting them behind a full year again. Good news for Apple, bad news for companies like Samsung.

Article Via Engadget

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