updated 09:05 am EST, Fri March 4, 2011
Samsung worried iPad 2 will hurt Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung was caught off-guard by the iPad 2 and may have to rethink its strategy for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the company's executive VP of mobile Lee Don-joo said on Friday. The Korean company had planned to charge a premium over the original Galaxy Tab, which already cost nearly as much as a larger, first-generation 3G iPad, but wasn't certain it could do so now that the iPad 2 was roughly matching it in features for the same $499 price. Lee didn't tell Yonhap what pricing was to have been, but a 16GB, 3G Galaxy Tab costs $600 in the US.
"The 10-inch [tablet] was to be priced higher than the 7-inch [tablet] but we will have to think that over," he said.
Lee also explained that the company had felt symbolically beaten by the new Apple tablet. Samsung thought it had outdone Apple by making the Galaxy Tab 10.1 about 10.9mm (0.43 inches) thick, but the iPad 2's 8.8mm (0.35 inches) now left its competitor behind once again. "We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate," he said, adding that the iPad was now "very thin."
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 still has some advantages over the iPad 2, including an eight-megapixel rear camera and a front two-megapixel camera. Although Apple hasn't said how fast 3G will be on the iPad 2, Samsung's device will support full 21Mbps HSPA+ downloads. Some have argued that Android 3.0's deeper multitasking, widgets and looser app policies also work in its favor and turn it into more of a notebook replacement.
Samsung's dependence on carrier sales, however, could leave it at a distinct disadvantage. It has never quantified sales to real customers, but it's believed its real sales of the seven-inch Galaxy Tab were significantly less than the two million shipped due partly to its steep relative prices and the lack of a Wi-Fi only model. A Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab is about to launched in the US this month, but it may ship with an aging Android 2.2 and might not necessarily cost significantly lower than $499 despite now being completely outclassed in performance.