updated 03:30 pm EDT, Mon March 15, 2010
Samsung claims iPad too weak, not connected
Samsung today said it would return to tablets in earnest by the second half of the year. Australian IT marketing manager Emmanuele Silanesu didn't provide many details of the device but said it would focus much more on the home than the Q1 series, which was ostensibly targeted at business. He admitted to APC that the Q1 was a failure for the public, as it was targeted for workers and too limited and expensive, but stressed that a home Samsung tablet could be a main device in place of a notebook if had enough functionality.
"I think we could get critical mass in having a product which could become your primary device -- one you could take to university and do a PowerPoint presentation on it, for example," the executive said. "Or a device that could be taken home or to the office and docked."
Both Silanesu and the Korean company's Australian IT director, Philip Newton, have also attacked the iPad and claimed that it has neither the speed nor the expansion ports needed to be a main system. The iPad is just a "glorified MID" (mobile Internet device) that takes the experience "to the next level," Newton argued at a company forum in Singapore. He likened it to an e-book reader with wireless but no expansion and implied that Samsung believes the Intel Atom would be faster.
"There is assuredly a good market for iPads, but there is an even broader market for consumers who want an iPad format but also want more functionality, more grunt, more IO," he said. "While the ARM-based processor in the iPad is a great chip it's not designed for crunching spreadsheets and all those other things that the traditional notebook does."
The plans are confident for Samsung, whose poor sales of the Q1 are emblematic of the problems with UMPCs and tablets to date. The 7-inch handheld was one of the leaders in Microsoft's "Origami" effort but was criticized for being too slow, costing too much and having little battery life. It has largely stopped updating the series since 2008 and still charges $750 for the base Q1. It has two USB ports and a card reader but is also twice as thick as Apple's upcoming tablet.