Samsung having second thoughts about Galaxy Tab 10 post iPad 2

Samsung having second thoughts about Galaxy Tab 10 post iPad 2

Samsung is reportedly reconsidering the form-factor and price of their forthcoming Galaxy Tab 10 following Apple's iPad 2 announcement this week.

"We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate," [Lee Don-joo] told Yonhap News Agency. "Apple made it very thin."

The 7-inch Galaxy Tab was priced at nearly US$900 without a two-year contract from mobile operators, while the price of the iPad 2 starts at $499, with the most expensive model costing $829. Samsung did not announce the pricing details for the 10.1-inch tablet.

"The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch (tablet) but we will have to think that over," Lee added.

I'm guessing that wasn't a unique reaction by competitors and would-be competitors, and is refreshingly candid despite the fact that persistent rumors should have given Samsung et al reason to be reflective long before this week.

The reality is this -- even if Android OS tablets eventually outnumber iOS tablets (aka iPad) like Android phones do iOS phones (aka iPhone), they'll be split among numerous manufacturers making it unlikely any of them will individually ship more product than Apple. Since Apple can purchase and even pre-pay for components in huge volumes their economies of scale will likely far outstrip what separate Android manufacturers can manage. That, combined with COO Tim Cook's legendary supply chain management, will keep Apple's costs low and, even with their traditionally beefy margins, their overall price points low.

Likewise Apple has a Senior Vice President of Design -- how many other companies put that much emphasis on design? Apple's focus and the profits they make to feed that focus mean they are often far ahead when it comes to the build quality of the products they can field.

Given that Apple is already bringing iPad 2 to market before most are bringing their first tablet -- great artists ship -- Samsung is probably wise to consider and reconsider everything from price to package. But really, it's not iPad 2 they need to worry about. It's iPad 3.

If Samsung or Motorola or HTC can release their iPad 3 competitor within the next 6 months -- the way Google released the Nexus One 6 months into the iPhone 3GS product lifecycle -- then things will start to get interesting.

[Yonhap News Agency via Android Central]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 25 comments. Add yours.

The Reptile says:

Therein lies the problem for the Android hardware manufacturers. They cannot differentiate in software because that is Google's job. The only place they can go is hardware. If their hardware is lacking then their product is lacking. If they thought that Apple would stand pat on hardware they don't understand the market they are trying to penetrate.

lawls says:

A lot of people talked about how the Tab and Playbook would be iPad killers, but I've yet to see a tablet that has the same effect with consumers as the iPad.
Apple just does things better

eric6052 says:

The Galaxy Tab was released in the "off season" for the iPad and it didn't seem to help sales all that much, of course it was kind of half baked and rushed. In order to really compete with Apple besides price point Android manufacturers are going to need to do something the iPad doesn't do well and excell at it. The Nook Color is a great instance since it specializes as an ereader and has a form factor that's better suited to that job. It comes equipped with a decent web browser, a few games and Pandora out of the box. Put that together and for $200 its a pretty good basic little tablet. If that were the end of the story it would be okay but since its Android underneath the hood its been hacked ever which way. Mine is running froyo since I didn't like the available Honeycomb port but that gave me full access to the Android Market. It seems like the Playbook could have a differentiating factor like this if they can convince BB users to buy it. I think the 7 inch form factor may be a good way for a company to compete with Apple since they have expressed disdain for that segment.

deviladv says:

It was mentioned on another site, but I can't understand where this $900 number is coming from. If you check samsung or verizon's site, it's $600 to $625 for a Galaxy Tab with no contract, and $280 to $300 with a 3 year contract.
I'm a Apple fan but it seems like someone's messed up and it's spreading thru the blogosphere.

GinoDotCom says:

They were propabaly talking about the motorola xoom.

webvex says:

Second thoughts? I should think so. One might even say they're flummoxed. What's even scarier is that Apple still has one hand behind it's back. The iPad is on cruise control now, but Apple could very easily crank up the hardware specs or lower cost if they felt the need.
Still, I don't want the competion to give up. Look how the heat from Android gave us the iPhone 4. We have a while to wait yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if we get that Retina iPad coincidentally about the same time Android tablet sales approach parity with the iPad.

Ray says:

Man, it's really hard to understand how these companies let themselves get so far behind. It took years for anyone to put up a solid competitor to the first iPhone and it looks like it'll be that way again for the iPad. I understand that the Xoom has better specs, but it doesn't hold water with anything else against the iPad 2. It's funny, cause, to me, it isn't that hard to see where Apple is going. Let Apple open up some cloud based services and they will rule the personal computing and services space for the rest of this decade. Then they can say, it's okay, buy the cheapest iPhone, iPod or iPad, or MacBook for that matter, and you'll have more memory, across all devices, with our cloud services. Someone really needs to step up, if not for legitimate competition, at least for the lulz.

largenj says:

Apple sets the bar every time, these competitors should know this by now. They need to rethink every aspect of their products to even think about coming close to Apple's products...

Seth says:

Agree with Jesse. Nobody can compete with Apple. They rule the market (for good reason) and unless something drastic occurs, they always will. It is simple...they have THE best products at THE best prices.

DRHughes says:

They won't be able to stop Apple. Point blank.

dloveprod says:

I thought it was too high too

yodaxl7 says:

Apple is a pro to this type of race. It is not hindered like the iPhone that was tied to single carrier and 2 year contracts. Apple will continue to focus on user experience as they are working on iPad 3 and monitors the market. Apple can bring out iPad twice a year, if Apple feels necessary. So, if Samsung or Motorola decided to come out with another version, so can Apple. Google does well in advancing operating software. So, Apple has also been iterating updates as well (4.0, 4.1,4.2,4.3, etc). This race seems closer to the music players,i.e. iPod. However, Google is a tougher challenger. Hardware companies may not able to keep up, except component companies like Samsung. So, it will be interesting. I think Apple will win.

Carioca32 says:

As a somewhat older tech geek, I find it funny how cocky everybody has become about Apple, as if they were incapable of making mistakes. I for one do remember when Apple could do no right, lousy products, bad marketing, a has-been at the brink of bankruptcy. I hope the long road down and up again has taught a little humility to some people inside and outside Apple. Not five years ago the pinnacle of mobile computing was Palm. Where are they now?

francolasalsa#IM says:

Can't agree with you more ! RIM,Sony,Nokia ,blockbuster video, nintendo, sega,music industry . Every company and industry is one missed oppurtinty away from disaster

Michael Scrip says:

You're exactly right... one mistake and Apple could be gone.
However, I don't think that time is now...
Apple just made an incremental upgrade to the wildly successful iPad... a product that didn't even exist one year ago... and one that has sold 15 million so far.

phat7deuce says:

Though I agree that business is cyclical and one day Apple will likely be on the other end of this, we're years away from it at this point.
Palm's not a great example, because mobile computing was more of a niche 5 years ago. The smartphone/mobile computing market is now very mainstream. It's much easier to get unseated in a niche market, especially if a better resourced competitor comes in.
It's more likely that a series of bad mistakes...a bad strategy would take Apple down. The funniest thing about this, is Apple's business model is not to dominate the market. It's not an iPad in every hand kind-of-business. They're margins are so high, I'm not sure they care if other people come into their space...it's still highly lucrative to them.

NewbornFugur says:

I agree, a better example (god forgive me) is Microsoft, how long have they been king of the mountain in the PC OS market, it is not unlikely Apple could carve out the same standing for themselves in the mobile market, rulers for years to come.

Pimp Lucious says:

Oh so right. The tech industry is littered with companies who were once at the top of their game hitting on all cylinders, who are now gone, gobbled up or struggling to reinvent themselves. It is the norm, not the exception, and Apple knows this all too well. Apple is executing and being aggressive towards the competition which I commend. But to listen to some of the comments from the sheep, it's like wow, you really believe what you are saying? We know better.

VP007 says:

People will consider it with Huge price...Ipad 2 is the winner..

Anthony says:

I usually see a bunch of responses from android fans but they seem to be skipping this article.

fastlane says:

It's never easy being wrong. ;)

Baustin says:

I had high hopes for the Xoom. I just purchased a new iMac, so the $800 price point is out of the question. I don't need yet another data plan so I'll be getting the WiFi version. Thanks Apple.

Kei says:

I think it's quite giving for the guy to admit Apple did something well. Normally Asian designers have utter disgust at the notion of admitting a Western developer can do something right.
By the way, I'm -in- Japan.

Crunch says:

Hah...you know, it's not just tangible things like screen size, aspect ratio and how many cores the CPU has. It's about the quality of the screen, for example. Does the Samsung (along with all the others) have IPS screens with LED backlight? How's the touch sensor? I can tell you from personal experience that the Galaxy Tab 7" is horrible to use but being that I only have Apple tablets and Apple phones (with touchscreen only, that is!) to compare anything else to. Naturally, I've been conditioned to a very high standard, a minimum standard really, as I wouldn't want to buy anything that offered an even slightly worse day-to-day user experience.
Here's one more example. Craftsmanship. Have you touched a Motorola Xoom? It's plastic and the surface on the back feels kind of rough, or cheap really, although it hardly is that, cheap. By contrast, my iPad always feels great when I pick it up. The aluminum body is super smooth and a joy to work (and play) with.
Let's face it, as much as the "other guys" are on a warpath to trump Apple's iPad and iPhone, realistically, it will not happen for them and most definitely not at the (low) cost that Apple is offering all this luxury for.