“The Galaxy Tab, Samsung’s answer to the iPad, might better be called the boomerang as one Wall Street firm has found that an eye-popping 15 percent of those sold are being returned,” Garett Sloane reports for The New York Post. “The Galaxy Tab is a slow-seller, as well, according to analysts.”
“The 15 percent return rate, which covers sales from its November debut through Jan. 16, compares to a 2 percent return rate for Apple’s iPad,” Sloane reports. “‘Consumers aren’t in love with the device,’ said Tony Berkman, a consumer tech analyst with ITG.”
MacDailyNews Note: John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD, “ITG Investment Research tracked point-of-sale data from nearly 6,000 wireless stores in the US from the Galaxy Tab’s November debut through Jan. 15 and found the device to have an unusually high return rate. According to its estimates, cumulative return rates for the Galaxy Tab through December of 2010 were about 13 percent. Worse, that percentage is growing as holiday purchases are returned. ITG figures cumulative Galaxy Tab return rates through January 15 were 16 percent.”
Sloan continues, “The problem with the Galaxy has been well-chronicled. Samsung rushed the product to market to compete with Apple and relied on software that was never meant to be used for a tablet device. Google even cautioned that its software, nicknamed Froyo, was not designed for tablet computing, noting that it was developed for smartphones and their smaller screens. Rhoda Alexander, an iSuppli analyst, said, ‘There are a lot of issues with Android tablets, not just Samsung. A lot of those products have difficulties with high return rates or with not moving off the shelf.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Lumps of Christmas coal returned. “My Aunt Edith made a mistake. Give me my refund, so I can use it to buy what I really wanted, an iPad.”
How embarrassing for Strategy Analytics!
I’d like to comment on the avalanche of tablets poised to enter the market in the coming months. First, it appears to be just a handful of credible entrants, not exactly an avalanche. Second, almost all of them use 7-inch screens as compared to iPad’s nearly 10-inch screen. Let’s start there.
One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70% of the benefits of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a 7-inch screen is only 45% as large as iPad’s 10-inch screen. You heard me right: Just 45% as large.
If you take an iPad an hold it upright in portrait view and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway down the screen, the screens on these 7-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the ipad’s display. This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion. While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size.
Apple has done extensive user testing on tough interfaces over many years and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.
Third: Every tablet user is also a smartphone user. No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone; its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pocket, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in their pockets is clearly the wrong tradeoff.
The 7-inch tablets are tweeners. Too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.
Fourth: Almost all of these new tablets use Android software, but even Google is telling the tablet manufacturers no tot use their current release, Froyo, for tablets and to wait for a special tablet release next year. What does it mean when your software supplier says not to use their software and what does it mean when you ignore them and use it anyway?
Fifth: iPad now has over 35,000 [now over 60,000 – MDN Ed.] apps on the App Store. This new crop of tablets will have near zero.
And, sixth and last: Our potential competitors are having a tough time coming close to iPad’s pricing, even with their far smaller, far less expensive screens. The iPad incorporates everything we’ve learned about building high value products from iPhone, iPods, and Macs. We create our own A4 chip, our own software, our own battery chemistry, our own enclosure, our own everything. And this results in an incredible product at a great price. The proof of this will be in the pricing of our competitors’ products which will likely offer less for more.
These are among the reasons we think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA. Dead On Arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphaned product.
Sounds like lots of fun ahead. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, October 18, 2010
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Jax44,” “JES42,” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]