This means that the two million Galaxy Tab devices Samsung said it had shipped by early January were in fact the number it had shipped to carriers and retailers, not the number purchased by end users. In fact, Samsung said, the actual number of devices sold to consumers was "quite small" compared to the sell-in to the channel.
Here's what the company said, during the company’s quarterly earnings call on Friday:
“Well, your question was on sell-in and sell-out. As you heard, our sell-in was quite aggressive and this first quarterly result was quite, you know, fourth-quarter unit [figure] was around two million. Then, in terms of sell-out, we also believe it was quite small. We believe, as the introduction of new device, it was required to have consumers invest in the device. So therefore, even though sell-out wasn’t as fast as we expected, we still believe sell-out was quite OK.”That "quite OK" statement probably reflects a number of things, including the fact that many consumers were aware that the Android version shipping on Galaxy Tabs was not optimized for tablets, and that these were really a stopgap until the real iPad rivals arrived, which at this point is basically very soon.
Samsung wouldn't give any theories on the poor sell-out performance of the Galaxy Tab, but did say that it was “quite optimistic” about 2011 sales.