Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Nov 2013 15:47 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Samsung Electronics Co said on Tuesday its Galaxy Gear has become the world's most popular smartwatch with sales reaching 800,000 since its debut two months ago, defying some market concerns the accessory would fail due to a lack of compelling features.

The South Korean firm said Gear sales have been better than its own expectations and it would expand sales promotions for the wearable device for the crucial year-end holiday sales.

Impressive for a poorly reviewed device. I guess this is what marketing and bundling can do - then again, without bundling, flagship smartphone sales would crumble like three week old bread too.

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RE: 800,000 sold -- or shipped?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 19th Nov 2013 18:26 UTC in reply to "800,000 sold -- or shipped?"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

The thing is, all sales figures in this industry are *shipped*, because they have no idea how many are actually *sold* at any given time. Even Apple, which always claims it reports *sold*, actually reports *shipped* - they just redefine "shipped" into "sold" in their SEC filings. Considering the shelves bursting with iPhones and iPads, Galaxy phones and tablets, and so on, at electronics retailers here in The Netherlands, these "shipped" figures are always problematic.

However, we can assume that retailers - especially in these trying economic times - aren't keen on keeping huge inventory, so I think that right now, the difference between shipped and sold are smaller than they have ever been.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I agree. The shipped vs sold argument is tired. If a company stuffs the channel one quarter, the following one their volumes will adjust accordingly because their inventory will rise.

Retailers don't keep ordering slow selling products, so while initially shipped can be used to mislead on figures (probably unintentionally because Samsung can't track every watch that leaves a brick and mortar) the charade can't be maintained for a long time.

Even the firms that claim to track sales to end users are guessing at best, this is impossible to keep track of precisely with such a diverse supply chain.

Reply Parent Score: 3

majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

I agree. The shipped vs sold argument is tired. If a company stuffs the channel one quarter, the following one their volumes will adjust accordingly because their inventory will rise.

Retailers don't keep ordering slow selling products, so while initially shipped can be used to mislead on figures (probably unintentionally because Samsung can't track every watch that leaves a brick and mortar) the charade can't be maintained for a long time.


Problem is that in this case the product is only two months old and the retailers are probably still selling their initial inventory.

So the shipped vs sold argument is perfectly valid here. Better understanding on actual sales will come within a few months, but today, those sales figures are most probably inflated.

Even the firms that claim to track sales to end users are guessing at best, this is impossible to keep track of precisely with such a diverse supply chain.


Not true for Apple because they also now how much devices are activated and all of them are their own products. Apple also gives how much devices are in the inventor channel along with sales: I don't know how they keep track of these figures, but they do.

Edited 2013-11-20 10:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

richard.shepherd1969 Member since:
2011-10-03

Aren't "shipped" products the same as "sold" as far as the manufacturer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor) is concerned? The store buys the devices from the manufacturer and then resells to the end user with a markup. As far as Samsung/Apple etc are concerned they have sold the product. I very much doubt Samsung gives stock to AT&T etc in the hope they will sell them and agrees to take them back if they don't.

Reply Parent Score: 2

shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Stores will 'buy' a lot of this stuff in an unproven market the following:-

1) Sale or return
2) 120 day terms

Both of which help the cash flow of the store.

I remember having an interesting argument with one of my MBA tutors over this very point. We agreed to differ!!!!

with 120day terms the only figure the maker can quote are the shipped numbers.

We only have to look at what happened to Surface-1.

Time will tell as to how many get actually sold. I'll see what is happening with them at the Samsung shop on Portobello Rd at the weekend. Perhaps I'll give them a rant on how crap the Galaxy Mini is?

Reply Parent Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Well, when you have over 30 percent return rate ( http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/doa-the-galaxy-gear-reported... ) do they all still count as sold? Samsung obviously would like to count them all as sold, regardless of whether they were then returned or not..

Reply Parent Score: 3

qbast Member since:
2010-02-08

Well, are they returned to Samsung or to retailer? In second case Samsung is right to count them as sold.

Reply Parent Score: 0

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

do they all still count as sold?


Well, they were obviously sold otherwise hey couldn't be returned ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

However, we can assume that retailers - especially in these trying economic times - aren't keen on keeping huge inventory


Tee hee... companies have a "solution" for that. Want to sell our device? You have to purchase a boatload of devices, even if you can't sell as many ("purchase commitments", it's called)

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/07/11/verizon-could-face-up-to-14-bil...

Apple does it, wouldn't be surprised if Samsung does it too, since they act all Apple-like recently (and this is not a compliment)

"shipped" numbers are completely bogus for very high-profile mamufacturers like Apple and Samsung, since they dictate (probably dictare in the case of Samsung) how many devices retailers will buy, aka how many devices will be shipped. This is also why salesmen are instructed to push Apple (and Sammy?) so aggressively.

Edited 2013-11-19 23:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

themwagency Member since:
2013-03-06

Considering the shelves bursting with iPhones and iPads, Galaxy phones and tablets, and so on, at electronics retailers here in The Netherlands, these "shipped" figures are always problematic.


Not always. Just because you see freshly stocked shelves is not an indicator of non-sales. They might just be re-stocking shelves quickly after product is sold. One need only look at the frequency of product sold within a short time frame for an understanding (if only a general one) of product popularity.

As far as iPhones and iPads are concerned, its been my experience that they sell as fast as they can stock them. One might say the best indicator of a products popularity is if they have to actually turn you away because the products displayed on shelves are all reserved. That happened to me on more than one occasion when buying apple product.

Considering the reviews of samsung's "stupid watch" (as some have called it) I would wager that their sold numbers are closer to the shipped category. On that note, Apple's sold numbers are likely accurate (assuming you don't believe the conspiracy theory that apple ships limited product to retailers to tout "sold-out".

Curious why the shipped/sold argument was not referenced in the summary of this posting while you tend to bring it up when dealing with "sold" numbers for Apple specific products.

Edited 2013-11-20 04:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2