The Samsung Galaxy Tab may be reaching milestone after milestone in terms of sales (whether those are to actual end-users or just to ‘channels’, a.k.a. retailers and carriers, is, of course, another story), but it looks like numbers aren’t as good when it comes to the return rates that the Android Froyo-powered tablet is seeing.
According to the New York Post, one Wall Street firm found that about 15% of the Tabs sold are being returned. That rate is significantly higher than the 2% that Apple’s iPad has seen. The 15% rate covers sales from the tablet’s debut in November through January 16.
The cause for all of this seems to be Samsung’s choice of operating system version. Rushing to get the Tab out before any of its major competitors introduced their Android-powered tablets, Samsung had to use Android 2.2 Froyo on the device, since that was the latest version of the OS at the time. However, Google has said repeatedly that Froyo is not meant or optimized for use on tablets. Android 3.0 Honeycomb is, of course, but that will make its debut on the Motorola Xoom later this month, many months after Samsung wanted to ship its first Android-powered tablet.
So the user experience on the Tab seems to be worse than people buying it expect it to be, and subsequently they return the device. This situation will be short-lived, since an onslaught of Honeycomb-running tablets is expected in the next few months, and there the UX will be a lot better, and, hopefully, return rates will be a lot lower. We’ll see.
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