Apple docs: Samsung misled investors about Galaxy Tab sales


Samsung internal report. Source: Apple

FORTUNE — We were skeptical in January 2011 when Strategy Analytics reported — based on a vague comment made to investors by a Samsung vice president — that the company had already shipped 2 million Galaxy Tabs, reducing Apple’s (AAPL) market share to 75% from 95% in less than six weeks.

Nearly two dozen news outlets went with the report, including (to name some outlets that ought to have known better):

  • VentureBeat: “Android steals tablet market share from Apple’s iPad”
  • Huffington Post: “Android tablets eat away at iPad’s lead”
  • Computerworld: “Android tablets sales skyrocket, a clear sign that they’ll dominate the iPad.”

Our headline that week: Android grabs 22% tablet share – not!

This week we learned, thanks to a February 2012 internal Samsung document marked “top secret” and unearthed by Apple as part of its ongoing patent infringement proceedings, that we were right and those more credulous news outlets were wrong.

When Strategy Analytics was telling the world that Samsung sold nearly 2 million Galaxy Tabs in six weeks, the truth was that it took Samsung all of 2011 to sell half that many in the U.S., its single biggest smartphone market. See attached graphic.

See also: AppleInsider: Apple vs. Samsung docs reveal Galaxy Tab was a flop and Samsung knew it

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story failed to distinguish U.S. sales from worldwide sales.


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