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Best Buy survey: malfunction, not confusion, was the primary reason customers returned the Galaxy Tab

August 8, 2012

As childish as they might seem to most of us, the legal quarrels between Apple and Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft, HTC and Apple and so on and so forth do have one thing going for them. In their attempt to avoid injunctions, bans, or financial penalties, the involved parties need to pull out all stops, meaning we get access to all kinds of exclusive or novel information, which might have never become public otherwise.

Less than a couple of weeks ago, we heard that Apple was preparing a heavy blow against Samsung to prove the design similarities between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and also the company’s financial losses caused by the infringement. Sammy was forced to reveal internal intel, according to which many Best Buy buyers returned their newly acquired Galaxy Tabs because they had mistaken them for iPads when they bought them.

The information seemed a bit fishy at the time, as we couldn’t understand how someone would be so clueless, but it did came from a trustworthy source, so it seemed that Samsung got itself in a bit of a pickle.

However, a study conducted by Samsung at Best Buy stores in 2011 has now surfaced online and clearly contradicts the info from last month. According to this, the main reasons for Galaxy Tab returns have been hardware and software malfunctions and not any sort of iPad confusions.

The study has been conducted at 30 Best Buy stores in New York, Los Angeles and Florida, if we are to trust Cnet, and has shown that 25% of all Galaxy Tab returns were caused by malfunctions such as “browser freezes, lack of screen sensitivity, and poor Wi-Fi connectivity”.

Screen lagging, short battery life, and inability to sync tablets with PCs were cited as the reasons for 17% of returns, while ten percent of people wanting their money back found Honeycomb “difficult to use”. Only 9% of returns were exchanges for iPad 2s, although the study is a bit unclear here, not mentioning if users simply weren’t satisfied with their Galaxy Tabs and decided to go for “something better”, or if they had mistaken their new slates’ identities in the first place.

Around 8% of returners mentioned the lack of Hulu, Netflix or Skype support as the primary reason for giving up Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs, while finally 6 percent complained about “insufficient speed and performance”.

Well, what can we say? It’s muuuuuch, much better for Samsung to admit that hardware and software issues caused most customers to return the Galaxy Tab 10.1, isn’t it? It’s like admitting you’re poor at your job, but at least you aren’t both poor and a copyright thief, right? Sarcasm aside, we’re sure it has taken Sammy a lot of guts to let this study leak, but sometimes you need to make such compromises to get yourself out of trouble.

Hopefully, this won’t be all in vain and it will actually help Samsung once and for all reach an agreement with Apple and bury the war hatchet. Highly unlikely, but we can at least hope, can’t we?