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Galaxy Tab return rate as high as 16%

Froyo's issue with running apps on a 7in screen could be a factor

Since Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet PC was launched in November, return rates in the US have been as high as 16 pecent, says ITG Investment Research.

By comparison, the return rate of the larger iPad has been at two percent since it was made available in the US through Verizon. All four major US networks sell the iPad device, but return rates for others were not available.

ITG analysts did not explain possible reasons for the high Galaxy return rate, and Galaxy officials could not be reached to comment.

Some bloggers have speculated the returns could be related to the Galaxy Tab's running of the Froyo version of Android.

Samsung acknowledged to PC Advisor's sister title Computerworld in September that some Android apps would not run at full 1024x600 resolution on the 7in screen on the Froyo-based Galaxy Tab. Officials said those apps would instead be framed in the display at 800x400.

Mobile services such as Google Maps are fully scalable on the Galaxy Tab, however, Samsung added at the time.

Hugo Barra, Google director of mobile products, had said last summer that Froyo, or Android 2.2, was not designed for the larger tablet form factor and was principally for smartphone screens of 4in or less. The latest version of Android, also known as Honeycomb , is designed for larger screens, according to Honeycomb lead designer Matias Duarte.

Running Froyo on a tablet could result in apps that are a "little ugly," analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said last September before the Galaxy Tab device appeared.

However, many reviewers have not mentioned that problem. For example, Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal called the Galaxy Tab a "serious alternative to the iPad" in a November review.

Samsung has reportedly said that it sold two million Galaxy Tabs in the fourth quarter. Some experts, though, have said Samsung shipped two million Galaxy Tabs shipped in the quarter, meaning some could still be unsold on store shelves.

Whatever the number, some analysts have said the Galaxy Tab is having an impact on iPad sales.

See also: Samsung makes record sales on back of Galaxy Tab, S


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