Originally Posted by Gatorguy
Exactly. While those were originally sold and counted as such you'll note the required disclosures when poor retailer sales resulted in a special allowance
for them to return those unsold products for manufacturer write-off. I don't recall any Samsung announcements to that effect (nor Apple either for that matter). You can bet that if it happened it would'a been reported. Not much makes it past the tech press, at least not all of them.
routine contracts between OEM's and the retail chains/telcos all include contingencies for returns (or large wholesale price discounts) of unsold products to the OEM's, as well as the timing of payments. it's a negotiation, and it's the chains/telcos that usually have the leverage here (unless it's a really popular product, like an iPad), and they are not going to take the majority of risk of getting stuck with unsold units of a flop product.
and i would bet the exact opposite - virtually none of this stuff ever gets reported. these contracts are confidential, and the only time we see real numbers from other than Apple is via lawsuit discovery filings in court - which is exactly what happened with Samsung vs. Apple. remember SS's very first Galaxy 7 Tab at the end of 2010? the big hype about 2 million (shipped, we learned after a few months)? where the SS person said "sales are smooth" (first reported as "slow")? but actually over its lifetime, as Wikipedia documents:
A week after its release, Samsung announced that they had sold 600,000 units. On the 4 December, it was reported that the 1 million mark was reached, two months after launch. However, an executive at Lenovo claimed that Samsung had only sold 20,000 out of the 1 million Galaxy Tabs that were shipped. In January 2011 Samsung announced they had shipped 2 million units to stores. In August 2012, actual sales figures were released in the patent infringement court case against Apple showing that a total of 1.4M Galaxy Tabs were sold from launch to Q2 2012.
plainly, SS flat out lied with their initial sales reports. the courts docs further break sales figures down by quarters:
only 1,050,000 of those tablets were the Galaxy 7 model. only 262K sold by the end of 2010, not 1M as SS claimed.
anyone who ever believes them is just crazy. SS constantly lies. and you can bet the retailers did not eat the losses on those almost 1 million shipped-but-unsold tablets either. any that the retailers held on to (for their discount bins likely) would be included in the sales total. the rest were returned to SS.
more recently, MS took that big almost $1B write-off for its V.1 Surface RT Tab flop. but in fact no one - analyst nor tech web site - has reported the actual shipped vs. sales vs. returns figures (however defined) for it. and MS ain't going to say - ever.
in truth, these fiascos almost never get reported.
[edit: updated with exact more damning numbers after tacking down that chart]
Edited by Alfiejr - 11/20/13 at 8:48am