Interesting numbers. A few casual observations:
1) The source cited in this article was Samsung. Samsung's number one priority seems to be - at present - to defend the charge that they copied the iPad. Would it be in Samsung's best immediate interests, to spin the results of the internal survey they conducted by taking a hit on quality - versus consumer deception?
2) The breakdown for the numbers (as reported) seems to be dissatisfaction based on the following categories:
25% - malfunctions
17% - design limitations (hardware - assuming lack of operator error)
10% - design limitations (software - operating system - assuming lack of operator error)
9% - exchanges for iPads (for undisclosed reasons - perhaps consumers were confused by similarities at point of purchase - perhaps they weren't - we don't know)
8% - customer support (software apps)
6% - performance dissatisfaction
The nature of the "survey" is suspect as to it's inherent reliability. For instance, was this a follow-up Likert-style survey that Samsung commissioned - i.e., that contacted consumers that had returned the product and asked them to respond to the exact categories above? Or, perhaps more probably, was this merely a "compilation" by Samsung who received return comments from consumers who were asked at the time of return to cite a reason as to why they were returning it. It has been my experience, when returning something to Best Buy, that the store employee asks me why I am returning it, and then edits what I say in a short pithy phrase on their return form.
Also, if we are to believe the actual words used (which may be an unfair assumption - given the laxness with which media reports are given here in the U.S. of A. (no disrespect intended) - the words "The study, conducted last year at 30 Best Buy stores in New York, Los Angeles, and Florida to determine why consumers were returning the tablet" makes it sound (improbably so) like Samsung might have had in-store personnel waiting to conduct a survey on consumers who returned their tablets.
Otherwise, if not conducted in the store right at the point of return, any subsequent determination "in store" after the return without the actual consumer being present to be able to say why they were returning it, would necessarily be suspect because the respondent would not be present.
If they contacted the consumers who returned the product later at home, it would not have been conducted "in-store," and - depending on the lag in time between the return and the survey, this may further compound concerns about validity and reliability.
If this is the case, it might just as well be summarized in the following manner:
75% - dissatisfying consumer experience with the product
25% - unreported category (I wonder what this category might have been)
However, a different situation may exist where the diligent Best Buy employee writes down everything the consumer says, which might be a combination of any two or more of the categories reported (e.g., Best Buy: What is wrong with the product? Consumer: "Wow! Where do I begin? The thing doesn't work worth a %@#!* (25% malfunction, 6% performance dissatisfaction), the touch panel is unresponsive (17% design limitation-hardware), the operating system sucks (10% design limitations-software), and there is no support for the apps for the thing! (8% customer support)"
Rather than being individual categories that summarize an individual consumer's single reason for return, the categories reported may very well be combination reasons cited to Best Buy. If so, that drives the percentage down (diminishes downward from 75%) for the categories stated, and increases the mystery category (increases from 25% upward) that is unreported. Given this distinction, it might not be surprising (given that some of these categories seem to be subsets of another) that quite a different picture may in treuth develop.
One fantasy speculation (because we have no way of knowing one way or the other) may very well be something as simple as this:
50% of products retruned for a combination of reasons cited;
50% of products returned for undocumented reasons.
Whatever the case, the results seem to skew away from Samsung's favor once combination reasons are allowed (and we have no reason to believe they were excluded).
Of course, as already stated, much of this is just idle speculation on my part, but I am somewhat familiar with how surveys should be conducted and, without trying to be overly laborious, this is how the article - void as it is of meaningful data - strikes me.
I apologize if this is too poorly written to easily understand - please share any concerns with this meager presentation and I will try to write with greater clarity.
I thank you beforehand for your kind patience.