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Samsung on track to sell as many as 10 million tablets in 2011

Bloomberg reports that Samsung is expecting to sell 5 times as many tablets as it did in 2010.

The company is on track to raise sales of tablet computers by more than five times this year from 2010 as it planned, J.K. Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile-phone division, said at a media briefing in Seoul today.

Samsung said it had sold 2 million Galaxy Tabs (plus a marginal number of Windows 7 Tablets?) as of January 2011.  It had given estimates as low as 1.5 million for the 4th quarter of 2010, the only quarter it sold tablets last year.

That means Samsung believes it can sell 7.5 million – 10 million tablets this year.  Is that good news?

While almost 10 million is a big number (especially with HP bailing the market and RIM selling only a few thousand Playbooks a day), Apple sold that many iPads in the third quarter and will likely blow that out for Christmas.  Perhaps even more unsettling for Samsung is that last year’s numbers were for just one quarter.  So, the 5 multiple is just a 25% improvement extrapolated out over a year.  You can’t compete with Apple with a 25% growth rate.

In any case, Samsung investors like the news. Shares of the Suwon, South Korea-based company rose 2.8 percent to 779,000 won as of 12:24 p.m. in Seoul trading, while the benchmark Kospi index declined 0.8 percent.  That might have also been bolstered by its high end Galaxy SII forecast.

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