They really pushed it into the channel though
I travel a lot, an I have seen the 7 inch Galaxy Tab in shops in all kinds of places: small electronics stores in rural Serbia, or mobile phone shops in Vietnam. Samsung has spent the last couple of decades building a really formidable set of channels through which to sell its products, and before Christmas they sent the Tab everywhere. This contrasts with Apple, who were selling iPads through a small number of retailers in a small number of countries.
I don't think many people bought Samsung's product, though. I know one person who has one, and apart from his, I don't think I have ever seen one being used in public. Some credit to Samsung for actually getting an iPad competitor into the shops before Christmas - nobody else did - but they must have lost a lot of money on that first iteration.