How Many Tablets Samsung Has Sold in the U.S.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt, CNN Money:

The discrepancy in the estimates of independent market researchers is even greater. According to an IDC press release issued just last week, Samsung sold 2,391,000 tablet computers worldwide in Q2 2012, up 117.6% from the same quarter last year. According to Samsung’s court filing, it sold a total of 37,000 tablets in the U.S. last quarter, down 86% year over year.

While its possible that Samsung’s overseas sales made up the difference, it’s extremely unlikely. According to court documents Apple (AAPL) filed Thursday, revealing for the first time its domestic iPhone and iPad sales figures, the U.S. represented an average of 42% of its worldwide tablet unit sales over the past nine quarters. The U.S. share of iPad sales was never lower than 26%.

If Samsung really sold 2.4 million tablets last quarter, as IDC estimates, 1.5% were sold in the U.S. and 98.5% overseas. That’s pretty hard to believe.

That’s not correct. IDC reports shipments, shipments into the channel. The court document seems to point to sales, as in sales to end users. It is quite possible a great majority of the 2.4 million tablets Samsung stuffed into the channel are piling up and gathering dust in inventory.