A senior official for Samsung Electronics on Friday admitted his company would have to rethink its line of Galaxy tablets to compete with Apple's thinner, more affordable iPad 2.
"We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate," Lee Don-joo, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile division, told Yonhap News Agency. "Apple made it very thin."
Earlier this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the second generation iPad. At only 8.8 millimeters thick, the iPad 2 is one-third thinner than the original. Impressively, the iPad 2 maintains its aggressive price points starting at US$499.
In contrast, Samsung currently offers a 7-inch tablet device that is 11.9 millimeters thick and priced at nearly
$900 $600 without a 2-year contract from a mobile carrier. The recently announced Galaxy Tab 10.1 will feature a larger display and faster processor when it ships this spring, but the device is still 24% thicker than the iPad 2. Samsung hasn't announced pricing details for its 10-inch tablet, but Lee revealed the original plan was to offer it at an even higher price.
During Apple's iPad 2 announcement, Jobs claimed competitors were "flummoxed" by the original iPad's success and pricing. It seems the iPad 2 will continue to befuddle Apple's rivals in the tablet market for awhile longer or, at the very least, inspire the competition to create innovative new features at much lower prices.
Ultimately, the rumble in the tablet market will lead to more-affordable devices packed with awesomeness. And that's good for all of us --- Apple fans or not.
Apple sold a staggering 15 million iPads from April to December, 2010. Since launching its tablet in October, 2010, Samsung has sold approximately 2 million Galaxy Tabs. Forecasts predict overall tablet sales to reach approximately 55 million units in 2011. Wall Street analysts predict Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market by selling as many as 40 million iPads this year.