Samsung's Galaxy Tab has sold more than 600,000 units in a month, according to a new report. While that number lags behind the total iPads sold by Apple, it suggests the Galaxy Tab is positioned to become a notable rival in the tablet PC space.
That sales report, from the Korea Herald, also suggested 30,000 Galaxy Tabs had sold in South Korea since the tablet's Nov. 14 debut there. By comparison, some 40,000 iPads have been preordered through local distributor KT Corp. ahead of that device's Nov. 30 release.
The Herald's story, if correct, would contradict some analyst reports of poor Galaxy Tab sales. Earlier in November, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar suggested that both the Tab and another Android-based tablet, the Dell Streak, were experiencing low sell-through rates. In the same research note, Kumar hinted that the iPad would have trouble meeting analysts' estimates of 6 million units sold in the fourth quarter.
"We do not see tablets go the way of netbooks," Kumar wrote. "But if current trends continue, the tablet market may not end as much more than iPads or a tweener product between smartphones and next-generation thin-and-light notebooks a la MacBook Air."
Kumar was taking the contrarian view to most analysts, who expect the tablet market to increase by leaps and bounds over the next few years. "The tablet wars are up and running," Neil Mawston, a director for research firm Strategy Analytics, wrote in a Nov. 2. statement accompanying a report on the tablet market. "Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet market into a multibillion-dollar business. Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, WebOS, BlackBerry and other platforms are trailing in Apple's wake, and they already have much ground to make up."
Nonetheless, Android-based tablets are expected to take market share away from the iPad, which Strategy Analytics estimates holds 95.5 percent of the worldwide tablet market. The Galaxy Tab is one of the first of those tablets to hit store shelves, offered on five major U.S. carriers.
J.K. Shin, president of Samsung's mobile business, reportedly told an audience during a Nov. 4 press conference in Seoul that more than 1 million Galaxy Tab units would sell in 2010, and that his company is actively preparing "other kinds of tablet devices."
A number of news outlets, including Wired, spied a 10.1-inch LCD panel screen in Samsung's area at the FPD International Green Device 2010 trade show in China, sparking speculation that a larger version of the Tab is indeed in the works.