The internet is alive with the sound of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, its 7-inch Android-powered tablet which is aimed at eating into Apple’s iPad market share, a market that it has pretty much enjoyed all to itself, until now.
The specifications are great, it has a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, it supports 3G calls and allows owners to make video calls with its two embedded cameras. It can multi-task too, add the video calling and you have yourself two useful features that the iPad doesn’t have.
Considering the iPad is the tablet device that all newcomers must beat, you would expect a smaller but equally as powerful device like the Galaxy Tab to be similar in price, if not coming in a little cheaper because it needs to appeal to casual buyers, not just the tech crowd who appreciate specifications and operating systems.
If you expected the Samsung Galaxy Tab to have a competitive price point, it’s highly likely you will be wrong.
UK electronics retailer Expansys, one of the largest independent online retailers for smartphones and gadgets has the Samsung Galaxy Tab 16GB priced at a hefty £679.99, that’s £240 more than the 16GB iPad, although the Apple device doesn’t support 3G.
Expansys tends to offer its products unlocked and free from contracts, meaning a potential customer would need to put in their own SIM card to use its 3G features or sign up for a new data plan solely for the tablet (carriers will also subsidise). The 16GB iPad 3G costs £529.99, still nearly £150 less than Samsung’s tablet. Factoring in the monthly tariffs does inflate the yearly cost to around the same cost as the Galaxy Tab.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, pricing it similarly to the iPad shows Samsung are confident the tablet will sell, especially as mobile carriers will also be able subsidise the tablet with 18 or 24 month contracts, spreading the upfront cost for consumers. This is something that Apple currently does not allow with its iPad.
The problem is, Samsung are unproven in the tablet market. Lets face it, all pretenders to the iPad throne currently are. When displayed side-by-side, the iPad exudes style with its brushed aluminium back and large 9.7-inch screen, the iPad App Store supports 25,000 tablet specific apps, somewhere where the Android Market is significantly lacking. The Galaxy Tab is big enough to carry in a handbag but not small enough to fit in your pocket, it lies in a bit of a smartphone/tablet middle-ground.
Apple have a huge marketing presence, Samsung’s is strong but emergent. When price is a determining factor, are consumers more likely to choose a device that can be purchased both online and in a bricks and mortar retail Apple Store, shares success with its smaller iPhone counterpart, is spotted in photos with nearly every US celebrity and comes in a little cheaper that its new rival? I think so.
Shave £200 off the price, allow customers to buy the device outright (instead as part of a subsidised contract) and I feel consumers would eat the Galaxy Tab up.