updated 09:20 am EDT, Tue August 16, 2011
Samsung, Motorola, more see underwhelming sales
An aggressive claim Tuesday alleges that many non-Apple tablets' sales are falling well short of shipments. Motorola and even Samsung are both reportedly seeing lower demand than they thought. Even ASUS, one of the better-received Android tablet designers through the Eee Pad Transformer, was reported by Digitimes as having shipped 700,000 tablets between May and July but only having sold 500,000.
Acer was already known to be lowering Iconia Tab orders after presumptions about its success proved optimistic. HTC and RIM have purportedly dropped ambitions of having success in tablets this year and are pinning their hopes on 2012.
Most have already instituted price cuts, including HP's atypically fast TouchPad slash to $400. A chance exists that some of the same companies may have to drop prices again in the near future. The insiders have predicted that there could be two rounds of price cuts, with many beyond Apple dropping to $350 and possibly to $300 in some cases.
While it's common for Apple and everyone else to primarily report performance based on shipments, few outside of Apple have given clues as to how many they actually sell. In every quarter since the iPad launch, Apple has said it's selling every iPad it can and sets units aside only for replacements and other necessary inventory. Motorola's 440,000 Xooms and RIM's 500,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks don't account for how many are being sold, and it's believed a significant amount are going unsold each quarter.
Unlike the smartphone market, where Android and the BlackBerry have been helped by low prices and more established platforms, tablets are still controlled primarily by Apple and could see it control 61 percent of the world market. Both Google and RIM may have hurt their tablet OS ambitions by rushing to market with important unfinished features and poorer development frameworks that have led to few native apps.
A Samsung shortfall would be surprising. It has been the second-place tablet maker, albeit by a wide margin, and was presumed to be enjoying higher sales again with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. A disappointment with its flagship could leave others with little hope of seriously toppling the iPad from its lead in the near future.