Galaxy Tab Rises to the iPad Challenge With 1 Million Sold

Though some have derided the Galaxy Tab as a big phone with an OS that still needs some maturing, it hasn’t stopped Samsung from selling 1 million in its first two months. Samsung said it hit the 1 million mark just 12 days after it first reported selling 600,000 units of the Android-based (s goog) tablet. The South Korean manufacturer has now increased its estimates for 2010 sales to 1.5 million, up from 1 million previously.

It’s unclear if this is 1 million in sales to end users or into retail channels. Besides 100,000 units sold in South Korea, there’s no indication of where the rest of the sales are happening. But the Tab, which is being sold by all four carriers in the U.S., is finding an audience. It’s a good sign of the interest in tablets overall, not just the iPad (s aapl), which has sold 7.2 million units since launching in April. Though the iPad commanded 95 percent of the tablet market a month ago, the Tab is proving that Apple will have plenty of competition in this space. James had a good first impression of the Tab and found a lot to like.

This success is with an operating system that even Google admits isn’t ready for prime time on tablets. As I’ve written before, the real battle begins next year when Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), which will be built to support tablets, becomes available. A number of manufacturers such as Lenovo, LG and Acer are timing their tablet launches to that release to ensure they’re ready to compete. Research in Motion (s rimm), HP (s hpq) and others are also expected to bring tablets next year. The latest Samsung numbers underscore the threat that tablets are mounting to traditional computers. Gartner earlier this week cut its estimates for PC sales this year and next year because of rising interest in tablets.

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