Samsung Galaxy Tab & Microsoft Windows Phone Sales: Sales to Carriers, Not Individuals

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has been hailed as the Android tablet breakthrough success of 2010. It appeared to provide the kind of market category kickstart for Android tablets in 2010 that Motorola’s Droid provided for Android phones in late 2009. This all hinged around claims of 1 million units sold by December 2010 and 2 million a few weeks later in January 2011. However, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) there was a bit of numbers word play involved.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Sales Actually ‘Quite Small’

What’s we’re seeing is similar to the confusion we encountered with Windows Phone 7 sales late in 2010.

Windows Phone Shipped vs. Sold Numbers & Where Are the Apps?

Microsoft used the word “sales” in their press release headline but were careful to say We are pleased that phone manufacturers sold over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks which translates to the number of units sold by the hardware manufactures to mobile carriers and not actual individual customers. Samsung uses the term sell-in to mean the same thing (sales from Samsung to carriers). And, that’s where the 1 and 2 million numbers come into play.

So, how many actual individual customers have bought Windows Phone 7 phones and Galaxy Tab tablets? No one who knows is saying. It does pose an interesting question, however: If the Galaxy Tab is still considered a success, shouldn’t Windows Phone 7 also be considered a success?