We Prepare for the Inevitable
Sequels usually suck, but every now and then we have an Aliens pop up from atop the festering mound of formulaic midden. The Galaxy Tab has received very mixed reviews and weathered the repeated accusation that it is nothing more than an oversized smartphone. It packs an OS that isn't optimized for tablets and it has a high price tag to boot.
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The lowest possible Tab price is $349 with a special T-Mobile deal. That includes a 2-year contract, unlike the strings-free iPad. And yet over a million have sold. Those aren't iPad numbers, but they're still damn impressive.
But the Tab's status as #2 tablet says more about the current consumer mindset than it does about the quality of Samsung's product. People are hungry for this form factor. The iPad's wild success is proof of that.
The only thing holding the tablet category back is a staggering lack of variety. The Tab's success exposes the existence of a vast number of eager, would-be tablet customers. They dearly want a slate, but not an iPad. The folks with the least patience are going for the Tab, but millions more must be lying in wait for 2011's wave of 3.0 tablets.
Which is why the Galaxy Tab 2 is worth looking forward to. The first Tab was launched to stake Samsung's place as both a leader in Android and in the emerging tablet market. The Galaxy Tab 2 will be a much more polished product, built to out-shine the iPad 2. One analyst expects a Tegra 2 processor in the new device, which is backed up by a claim from NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang that Samsung was an important partner and the matter of Samsung spending $250-$350 million on NVIDIA processors.
Other rumors point towards a 10" version of the Tab launching in the next few months. A range of display sizes certainly seems like Samsung's best next move. AMOLED production is set to ramp up next year, which means that at least one AMOLED tablet is likely. Probably 7", to keep cost and battery drain from being too silly.
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Windows Phone 7 presents an interesting possibility. If sales improve we may very well see Samsung WP7 tablets launch soon. Samsung already plans to launch twice as many WP7 devices as Android devices next year. They clearly see promise in Microsoft's new platform, and they aren't being cautious in their support of it. A WP7 tablet or two to 'test the waters' would make a lot of sense.