News of high return rate comes day after sales figures accusations

16 per cent of Galaxy Tabs sent back in US

16 per cent of Samsung Galaxy Tabs are being returned in the US, research revealed today.

ITG Investment Research tracked sales data from close to 6,000 American stores over a three month period, from the Galaxy Tab’s release on the November 15th through to January 15th.

In December return rates were already high at 13 per cent, but rose even higher to 16 per cent.

The reports are a further PR blow for the Samsung tablet – news surfaced that Samsung had taken a significant portion of the tablet market share, with figures claiming the Galaxy Tab had reduced the iPad’s market share from 95 to 75 per cent over Christmas.

Those reports had jumped the gun. When quizzed by the Wall Street Journal about the amount of shipped units versus hard sales, a Samsung exec revealed that sales had been “quite small”, despite the South-Korean vendor announcing sales of 2 million in early January.

The furore took a further turn today. The Wall Street Journal updated their blog with a correction reading: “Samsung said the transcript, done by a third party and initially cited by a company spokesman, has since been corrected.” Apparently sales had been “quite smooth”, not “quite small”.

But the high return rate remains a problem for Samsung.

It is still unclear why consumers are returning the tablets, but industry experts say it could be due to Samsung’s decision to use of Froyo, the latest version of Android, a smartphone OS not optimised for tablet use.

Other manufacturers passed up the opportunity to release their own tabs over Q4, opting to wait for Honeycomb, an Android OS still under development but “built entirely for tablets”.

Those Android tablets will launch later this year, as will a variety of netbook-tablet hybrids. 

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