Samsung’s new tablet is the South Korean electronics giant’s latest attempt to wrestle market share from Apple, but is not being heralded as an iPad killer.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet was launched yesterday in the US, Britain and South Korea, just weeks before Samsung is expected to unwrap its revamped version of the original 5.3-inch Note smartphone.
Samsung, which Apple accuses of copying the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, hopes the enlarged version of its popular phone-cum-tablet Note will resonate with consumers, and the device – with a stylus-type pen and split-screen feature – has picked up positive early reviews from tech bloggers.
That said, the price – $499 (R4 000) for 16 gigabytes of memory and wi-fi-only, the same as the iPad – and competition from smartphones have left analysts doubting that the new device will see off the iPad.
“When you look at the price and overall consumer awareness about Samsung tablets, it’s not likely to be a big success,” said Park Young, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities in Seoul.
“Tablets are getting cheaper and even Apple is rumoured to be preparing a cheaper iPad. Consumers also tend not to spend much on tablets any more as smartphones can do most of the entertainment functions that tablets offer.”
Samsung has been keen to differentiate the Note 10.1 from rival tablets, which are primarily used to consume media – highlighting the device’s ability to personalise and create.
The Galaxy 10.1 is named after its screen size, which is slightly larger than the 9.7-inch iPad, and has impressed with a split-screen feature that allows users to have two apps active side-by-side.
Samsung hopes that the bigger version of the original Galaxy Note, which has sold more than 10 million units since its October launch, can help it to narrow the gap with Apple in tablet markets, where it remains a distant second. Apple sold 28.8 million iPads from January to June, giving it 64.4 percent of the market, against Samsung’s 9.9 percent, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.
The Note 10.1 uses Google’s Android software. It boasts a 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera.– Reuters