Samsung has proudly proclaimed its Galaxy Tab tablet has sold 600,000 units in a month since its launch. It's a good figure. But over a million iPads were sold within 28 days. And news of the iPad 2 is expected to squash competing tablet sales.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab is essentially the only competitor to Apple's iPad that's really arrived with any sort of splash--despite a promised tidal wave of 7-inch iPad-alikes, some sporting Android. So it's impressive news to learn that Samsung has sold 600,000 of the tablets in its first month of availability, with the company noting that 30,000 units alone have crossed sales counters in Korea since launching there Nov. 14. Samsung also pointed out that "robust" sales have outstripped supply in some countries, and the company's mobile division head Shin Jong-kyun is quoted as saying "we're projecting to sell up to one million units" this year, and that tablets will "take over a bigger portion" of the PC market next year, which will translate into even more sales for the Korean firm.
Well done, Samsung. Except ... well, there's the iPad. It sold over a million units in the first 28 days, the greater majority being just one variant (the Wi-Fi-only one), which some believe is now the least popular type people are buying. The iPad also achieved this figure in just a handful of nations, unlike the 30-nation onslaught of the Galaxy Tab (which may go some way to explaining why some nations were sold out), and it too experienced such aggressive buying rates that the international launch plans have had to be stretched out. Parts of Europe--a hugely lucrative market--still don't have iPads for sale, for example, and Korea itself is only scheduled to get the iPad on November 30th. According to reports, at least 40,000 iPads have been pre-ordered there, meaning the iPad sales rate will likely eclipse the Galaxy's local sales rate in its home country inside a single day.
And there's more "bad" news: Building rumors about the iPad 2, which everyone expects to see revealed in January (in only around six to seven weeks), are now leading some commenters to predict that the rest of the tablet market will see sales take a big knock from now onward--right through the key holiday buying season. Simultaneously Apple is reported to have ramped up its production rate of the current iPad to maximize its share of holiday purchases.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab is definitely a success for the company, but it's also a sign that if anyone has their sights set on competing with the iPad, then they'd better have an extraordinary piece of hardware that also comes with an extraordinary marketing campaign. We're kind of hoping someone does this too, since competition for Apple will be a healthy thing for us consumers, and may drive Apple's innovation pace a little faster--a company with enough power that rumors alone can squash its competitor's market may not be an ideal thing.
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