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Samsung official: company 'not doing very well' in tablets

updated 10:00 pm EST, Mon February 27, 2012

Executives pin hopes on 5-, 10.1-inch Note models

An official at Samsung was unusually candid during a media roundtable at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, admitting the obvious but rarely-spoken truth that the company's attempts to replicate its smartphone success in the tablet market had failed. "Honestly, we're not doing very well in the tablet market," product strategy executive Hankil Yoon said, but added that Samsung expects to change that this year.

At the heart of Samsung's optimism in the tablet space is the newly-announced, stylus-equipped Galaxy Note 10.1, a larger version of its oft-criticized five-inch Galaxy Note original (MacNN reviewed the five-inch model earlier this month). Electronista staff that have had a chance to try out the 10.1-inch version said that although its an improvement in most areas from the five-inch model, overall they preferred Samsung's seven-inch Galaxy Tab 2, also on display in Barcelona.

In part, the failure of the original Galaxy Tab line to sell well may -- ironically -- have to do with its overt resemblances to the iPad, which landed the company in several court cases in Australia and Germany, most of which it lost. Now back with more distinct designs (and in the case of the Galaxy Note 10.1, Android 4.0 on board), the company should be better able to distinguish its products better, which may actually help it position the Note line as a stylus-sporting alternative for creative and business work, and get the Korean company away from its "Same-sung" copycat image.

Now facing competition in the tablet space from both the iPad -- which is expected to refresh its lineup in the coming weeks -- and Amazon's Kindle Fire reader/tablet hybrid, Samsung has opted for an all-sizes strategy. The company will now offer the Galaxy Note five-inch model as a "phablet" phone and mini-tablet, the seven-inch Galaxy Tab 2 in the "budget/pocket" tablet category, and the bigger-than-iPad Galaxy Note 10.1 for a full-sized tablet option. Pricing on the five-inch Galaxy Note is set at $300 with a two-year contract in the US ($200 with a three-year contract in Canada), while the Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 prices remain unannounced at present.

Yoon was quoted by CNet as saying that Samsung expects to sell 10 million of the five-inch model, and said that the 10.1-inch Galaxy Note will likely replace the similarly-sized Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the market. He did not speculate on sales projections for the 10.1-inch Note model but said that the addition of the S-Pen -- what Samsung calls the stylus that accompanies both Note products -- would set it apart from competitors by allowing easier note-taking and other creative uses, such as with Adobe's new Photoshop-related tablet apps.

He also cited the larger screen as a selling point, though in many reviews the screen sizes of both the five-inch and 10.1 inch Galaxy models has been found to be a bit unwieldy. Yoon added that it would take some "education" for consumers to get comfortable with the larger sizes, but that once users were adjusted, they would feel that other devices look "too small." [via CNet]

Galaxy Note 10.1

Galaxy Note 5-inch

By Electronista Staff
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  1. bigmig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004



    Given how fast Samsung's phone screens are growing, they should be fielding a 7" phone by 2014. Then the tablet market won't matter to them anymore because their phones will be tablets.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Droidtards need large phones

    so they can see what they're doing easier. Samsung said the same thing last year about how they were going to take major tablet market share from Apple's iPad, but it didn't turn out so well. But, of course, this year it's going to be different. Apple is just going to lie back and let Samsung tap dance all over them because Apple doesn't have a clue how to sell tablets. Samsung figures if they throw a half-dozen display sizes at the tablet and smartphone market, one of them is bound to catch on and that one will be seen as beating the h*** out of Apple with a few percent market share gain and a major loss in profits.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999



    Sure, it will only get worse.

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Samsung invents The Newton

    I wouldn't count Samsung out just yet. I just saw a commercial for an amazing new Samsung product called "The Newton". :0P

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010


    Samsung isn't doing very well?

    NO SH*T.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008



    Never underestimate critics! and the words or caricatures they will come up with. We all remember how "everyone" was making fun of the iPad name, right? No laughing now.
    One thing I have never heard any of these copycat companies say about Apple: "They are undisciplined."
    But the truth is, the competition has been undisciplined!

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    Try harder!

    .... like an 18 inch tablet for your next product. If that doesn't work, convert one of your flat panel TVs to a giant tablet.

  1. Stogieman

    Professional Poster

    Joined: May 2000


    "Not doing very well"

    But I thought Galaxy Tab tablet sales were "Quite smooth."

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    no pay without the work

    Apple spent a lot of effort finding the perfect size and form for it's iOS devices. Samsung and others amazingly have copied a lot from Apple but are missing the one of the most important realizations of the iPad, it is the perfect size for what it was designed to do. More proof that Samsung did not take the steps to develop a tablet otherwise they would have discovered this themselves.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999


    I know.

    Not enough pens!

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