Customers mistook Samsung tablets for iPads, says Best Buy [Apple vs Samsung]

In Apple vs Samsung court documents unearthed by AllThingsD, it has been revealed that Best Buy, a major electronic retailer in the United States, told Samsung that customers were returning Samsung’s tablets because they mistakenly thought they were iPads.

Samsung is being forced by the judge to furnish a bunch of internal documents, as per Apple‘s request. We already discussed how some internal documents show Google and others warned Samsung of similarities between its products and those of Apple’s. Other internal documents have Samsung’s employees discussing the similarities between the products. More interestingly, however, are the documents of communications between Best Buy and Samsung.

According to the documents, Best Buy told Samsung a number of times that customers are returning Samsung tablets because at purchase they mistook the tabs for the iPad. Of course it could be said examples of people who are stupid enough to mistake a tablet that prominently displays the Samsung logo on its box and the tablet itself for an iPad shouldn’t be held against Samsung in court. However, if the evidence is allowed in court — and trust me Samsung is trying its very best to disqualify it — it could prove to be even more damaging then warnings by Google et al because this shows the story from the consumer’s point of view which directly relates to potential loss revenue or reputation of Apple and its products.

[via BGR]

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  • Seamus McSeamus

    @Quozy Miklum:

    That’s not a huge stretch. I bought a set of kebob baskets for my grill recently, and there was a warning on the packaging to inform me that said baskets would be hot when I remove them from the grill. I would never have guessed!


    I saw a back-to-school commercial for Big Lots a few days ago advertising a “tablet” for $79. I’ve never been to a Big Lots, but I shudder to think what kind of “tablet” you get for that price. I told my wife it’s probably a glorified calculator. People who fall for that, I can see confusing a Samsung product for an iPad!

  • mukhi

    BS. how is that even possible? i mean you wanna tell me someone who will be able to use a tablet is not able to recognize the BRAND? it’s not a $10 thing that one may pick up randomly.
    i smell an apple (or fanbois) generated news here! ^_^

  • Ed

    The difference here is the company. For the average user, I would say mistaking an Android tablet for a Windows tablet is an honest mistake. That isn’t nearly as advertised on the box. Usually I don’t see one on the cover, it’s on a small side with the brief specs. The company however is usually big and bold on the box and the name of the tablet often comes up several times during purchase, not so much with the OS.

  • sl0j0n

    Hello, all.
    We don’t have a “Best Buy” in our little town.
    Just a “Big Lots”.
    And you might be surprised by the numbers of ‘people’ that buy a ‘tablet’ and return it later, because, apparently,
    they think its a “Windows”-type device.
    So obviously, you’ve got to be pretty slow on the uptake, to think that an “Android”-powered tablet,
    is the same as a “Windows”-powered computer.
    I can personally verify that,
    when told in advance that an “Android”-powered tablet is *not* the same as a “Windows computer”,
    a relatively large percentage ‘lost interest’ in the “Android” tablet.
    While I think that in itself is *amazing*, it reminds me of the recurring ‘joke’ on a popular TV show,
    about how some things are “an indictment of the American educational system”, or words to similar effect.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

  • Quozy Miklum

    If this argument is accepted by the court it sets a precedent IMO. Therefore, products would have to include clear notices to the effect that they are NOT the other similar product. That is, the Samsung product would have to state that it is not an iPad.


  • Prema

    At my bestbuy we have to request an associate for the tablet. They don’t keep loaded boxes near the displays. The iPads are under lock and key, and I assume the same or similar for the other tablets (maybe in the storage?)

    But smart people

  • Techless


    Sounds like an astute observation. Just how does so many people get past all the circulating supposedly trained sales reps and wind up with a Samsung? Do BB reps get a massive discount on purchasing something that was returned? Dare we say, “conspiracy”? Of course, I’m kiddin’.

    Just seems like the ‘honest mistake’ category would be tiny. Yet without knowing how many actually were returned for just the specific reason of mistaken ID, who knows what truly happened?

  • Ashraf

    @Ed: That is what has been bothering me, too. The type of people to make this mistake likely arent very tech savvy; they are the type of people who ask sales people for help. How would a Best Buy rep sell a Galaxy Tab to someone who wants an iPad?

    To me this would only make sense in situations where people are buying the tabs as gifts. In other words, someone asked for an iPad as, say, a birthday gift and a non tec savvy person went to Best Buy and asked the rep for a tablet. The rep pushes a Galaxy Tab onto the customer who then gave it as a gift only to learn the person wanted an iPad instead.

  • Ed

    @Seamus McSeamus: Not even detail! How do you not notice the box you are holding doesn’t say “Apple iPad” but instead has “Samsung” across it! I would hope Samsung didn’t have a white box either. Not to mention, that means either a lot of people went to Best Buy and just told the people working there “I want this!” neglecting to read any of the signs around it, and for some reason they got the one worker that wouldnt have gone “The Galaxy Tab? Sure!” and just went “Yeah, ok.” They likely didn’t even ask the person what size storage they wanted. That or Best Buy was just messing with it’s customers. “Oh! You want the iPad? Sure! Let me go get you the Galaxy Tab!”
    Plus, Best Buy has an Apple section, completely separate from the other electronics. These people ignored the Apple section, the big white section next to the tablets and computers with a giant apple logo and apple advertisement, and went for the galaxy tab. Something is not right here, regardless of how similar they look.

  • Stan Engeles

    This assertion underscores the level intelligence that Best Buy (is it really?) targets (Hint: Rhymes with “idiot”).

  • Techless

    @Daniel Lovejoy:

    I believe you mis-underestimate a reformed yet flailing technophobe. Wanting so, to have the piece of technology that he/she saw on a picture.

  • Daniel Lovejoy

    Didn’t they notice that the box didn’t say “Apple” or “iPad”?

    This sounds like a fake story. I realize some people don’t think, but I don’t see how that many could be oblivious unless Best Buy was putting Samsung pads in Apple boxes.

  • Techless

    Perhaps it shows the type of typical buyer that enters a Best Buy and wants to purchase an iPad?

    As in not a deep thinker?

  • Seamus McSeamus

    They might look similar, but I honestly don’t see how you could confuse Samsung’s tablet with an iPad . I mean, unless you’re one of those people who is totally oblivious to details.