Samsung Electronics launched a bigger, lighter version of its Galaxy Tab in Korea on Wednesday, hoping to make inroads into a market firmly controlled by Apple.
◆ Lighter, Thinner
The new Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a 10.1-inch touch screen display as opposed to the previous seven-inch version. The first-generation of Galaxy Tab aimed at portability and sold 500,000 units in Korea, more than iPad's 300,000, but a mere 3 million in overseas compared to Apple's 30 million.
The selling point of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is its size, thickness, weight, and camera performance. Compared to the iPad 2, it is 0.2-mm thinner and weighs 30 g less despite a screen that is 0.4 inches larger. The camera's resolution is four times higher than the iPad 2's.
Its weaknesses are also evident. There are fewer applications, which was also a main reason for the lower sales of the previous model. While more than 90,000 apps are available for the iPad, there are only a few thousand for the Galaxy, which uses Google's Android operating system.
However, Shin Jong-kyun, the head of Samsung's mobile communications business, claimed, "The potential for applications for the Galaxy Tab powered by Google’s Android is limitless."
◆ Catering to Korean Consumers
Apple dominates the global tablet PC market. Sales of the iPad 2 jumped threefold in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period of last year. And even though the Galaxy Tab 10.1's hardware performance may be impressive, it will be hard to beat the iPad in terms of content.
But there is a chance that the Galaxy Tab can beat the iPad in Korea based on Samsung's marketing clout and with the help of Korean telecoms. Samsung added features catering to Korean consumers to make up for the weak points. The model sold here supports mobile TV (DMB) along with a navigation program optimized for a larger screen. Content for Korean consumers includes 12 newspapers, 24 magazines, 11,000 books, and one million scholarly works.
Android developer Google is also trying to strengthen content. If it can lure content creators away from Apple, competition in the tablet PC field is likely to heat up.