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Android Businesses Handhelds Portables Upgrades Apple

iPad 2 Forces Samsung To Reevaluate Galaxy Tab 520

Posted by Soulskill
from the competition-is-easy-except-for-the-competition-part dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's iPad competitors are still spec-obsessed, and Apple's next-gen iPad coupled with the same price point is forcing Samsung to rethink its tablet strategy and pricing methodology altogether. The South Korean Yonhap News Agency relays a quote from Lee Don-joo, executive VP of Samsung's mobile division, about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 compared to the new iPad. 'We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate,' Don-joo said. 'Apple made it very thin.' Features aside, Samsung also finds itself in a bind price-wise. The upcoming Galaxy Tab model, complete with a 10.1-inch screen and Android 3.0, was initially going to be priced higher than the current 7-inch Galaxy Tab. Apple's iPad 2, however, is forcing Samsung to 'think that over.'"
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iPad 2 Forces Samsung To Reevaluate Galaxy Tab

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  • Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twigmon (1095941) on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:27PM (#35413736) Homepage

    This is awesome news. Competition is good for us!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      This is awesome news. Competition is good for us!

      Not if the competition is over how "thin" it is.

      Maybe I'm just completely out of touch, but I'd much rather have a full-featured tablet than one that is 2mm thinner but doesn't have the features I want.

      "Out of touch"...get it?

      Seriously, instead of chasing iPad, is it really impossible for Samsung to maybe ask some prospective customers who haven't already bought iPads what features they want and "compete" based on that? Most people haven't bought iPads yet.

      • I'd much rather have a full-featured tablet than one that is 2mm thinner but doesn't have the features I want.

        Probably a thicker tablet means a bit more weight, too. After using an iPad on the couch for some weeks, I noticed that it's slightly too heavy to hold it up like a book. Lesser weight means easier holding.

      • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by N1AK (864906) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:08AM (#35416596) Homepage

        Maybe I'm just completely out of touch, but I'd much rather have a full-featured tablet than one that is 2mm thinner but doesn't have the features I want.

        You are completely out of touch if you think the difference in depth between the iPad and IPad 2 is as inconsequential as a 2mm change would be. Setting up a strawman (a fictional 2mm change) and attacking that, rather than 4.6mm (35% thinner) and also 127g lighter (16%).

        Obviously the size of the device is important, otherwise we'd all be happy walking around with devices the thickness of a novel. You might be both informed and think that the difference in this specific incidence is not important. Frankly I doubt it. I can say that having played with both devices the size and weight difference is noticable, and beneficial.

        I won't be buying an iPad because I have numerous issues with Apple's business practice. I do however greatly admire their current hardware. Hopefully other manufacturers won't ignore this in the next batch of android tablets because, frankly, I'm getting tired of waiting.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        Maybe I'm just completely out of touch, but I'd much rather have a full-featured tablet than one that is 2mm thinner but doesn't have the features I want.

        If you think that this is a competition about the feature-list, you're really completely out of touch. Apple designs a user experience, not a USB port or a front-facing camera. Note that they only added the latter after they had FaceTime to make it actually useful for the user.

  • Anyone know... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:27PM (#35413738)
    how is Apple making the iPad so cheap? Nobody tries to go head to head with Apple. It's a waste of time. They're just too hip. So you fight on price or you fight on features. If the other tablet makers are neck & neck with Apple on price there must be a reason....
    • by jandrese (485)
      Apple's competitors have been up-speccing their machines quite a lot compared to the iPad. The original iPad has a paltry 256MB of memory compared to the GB most of the Android tablets are packing. They also include faster processors, fancier screens, tons of ports, etc...

      But mostly they've been trying to keep profit margins healthy.
      • Actually, the iPad generally has the fanciest screen. It's an IPS screen whereas I don't believe any of the other tablets are (I tried to find about the Xoom but Motorola didn't say). You also can't compare the RAM of the original iPad to the tablets that are just coming out now; besides, the RAM differences in cost are negligible. It's not about hardware feature differences, it's about supply. Apple designed their own processor (basically) and has all the agreements to get parts at really good prices. It's
      • Re:Anyone know... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by node 3 (115640) on Monday March 07, 2011 @09:44PM (#35414498)

        Apple's competitors have been up-speccing their machines quite a lot compared to the iPad. The original iPad has a paltry 256MB of memory compared to the GB most of the Android tablets are packing. They also include faster processors, fancier screens, tons of ports, etc...

        I've not heard of any with better screens than the iPad. Usually they have smaller screens or widescreens (both of which are worse for a tablet). Maybe that's 'fancy'?

        The memory and ports mean very little outside of the geek realm.

        But mostly they've been trying to keep profit margins healthy.

        At the cost of market share? No. They are so expensive because they can't beat or even match the iPad's price. Do you really think they can build their tablets cheaper than Apple does theirs, but are marking the products significantly more than Apple? Isn't the mantra here that it's Apple who is overpriced? So when Apple's prices are cheaper, instead of rethinking that assumption, you just assume Android tablets are so fantastic that they can mark their prices even higher? Really?

    • by eepok (545733)

      Proprietary hardware and software doesn't hurt. And then there's the guarantee of loyalty-purchases as opposed to the PC market which is mostly of the "let's see who is genuinely better" type of scrutiny.

      Add in the massive premium that comes with minor increases in product (+$100 for +16GB of SSD or +$130 for 3G WITH a contract) and the likelihood that those who already loyally buy apple will likely want a maxed out iPad (admittedly pure speculation on my part) and you'll get some decent money on return.

      Wit

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        The most popular ones, based on my visits to an Apple reseller here in the UK are the WiFi only ones, not the maxed out ones. You could buy a maxed out one any time, but there was always a wait list for the WiFi only models.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Their deliberately narrow range probably helps with the economy of scale - Apple makes one tablet, pumps out a few million of that precise model (give or take a few extra flash chips), designs another, and repeats. Samsung are perhaps spread too thin, pushing up both the relative development and manufacturing costs of each individual product. Apple also have app store purchases as a secondary source of income should they feel the need to cut margins, although that doesn't sound like their kind of tactic - b

    • by massysett (910130)

      Analysts and industry experts point to a number of reasons. Primarily, they say, Apple’s deep pockets — a staggering $60 billion in cash reserves — have allowed it to form strategic partnerships with other companies to buy large supplies of components, for example, expensive flash memory. By doing this, the company probably secures a lower price from suppliers, ensuring a lower manufacturing cost.

      At the same time, they say, Apple has sidestepped high licensing fees for other items it needs, like the A4 and A5 processors within the iPads. Those parts, designed in-house at Apple by a company that Apple bought, are among the costlier components needed to make a tablet computer.

      NYTimes [nytimes.com]

    • The HP WebOS tablet will be at a similar price point for superior hardware (more ram, faster processor, etc). Its just not as light or as thin.
      • Is not as light or as thin, but you still think it is superior hardware? If you glued your 24" LCD monitor to the side of your PC case and hooked that up to 10 car batteries, would that be an even more superior tablet?
        • Stop being an idiot. It weighs about a small sandwich more and is maybe a quarter of a pencil thicker. Its a worthwhile trade-off for induction charging (wireless charging), an actual built in digital compass, 4 times the RAM and 20 percent more processing power.
      • by jbplou (732414)

        I found the demo of the webOS tablet very impressive, much more impressive than what other non-Apple companies have shown in their demos(Dell didn't even have a functioning prototype). However how do you know the pricing will be similar? I haven't seen any confirmed pricing or release date.

        HP is a long shot because apple has thousands of apps, huge marketing, carriers giving additional marketing, and strong word of mouth. HP has good a good reputation for printers and high end server systems I don't quit

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      Is it cheap? The iPad is a 9.7" touchscreen with 16gb for $400 [walmart.com]. I can buy a 10.1" 1.6ghz Atom netbook with 1gb RAM and 250gb hard drive for $250. [bestbuy.com] And no, Best Buy isn't running a crazy special, Amazon has two [amazon.com] different [amazon.com] models of netbooks for ~$250 brand new.

      True, the iPad has a touchscreen and those cost a bit, but the netbook has a lot more parts and the cost of a Windows 7 license.

      I'm trying to figure out why we're not being flooded by $200 iPad clones.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        Because the iPad is significantly thinner and somewhat lighter. Maybe those things don't matter to you, and if that's the case then you'd be wasting your money, but they do make the engineering more complex and thus more expensive, and they do matter to some people. Build quality is also an issue when you're really racing to the bottom on price. I don't quite know what you mean by 'a lot more parts' - if they achieve roughly the same goal then it really doesn't matter how many parts they use; if anything, s

    • by guidryp (702488) on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:47PM (#35413942)

      It is amazing how the conversation changes. I remember a year ago, there was a lot of people dumping on the iPad as overpriced, that they could get a more powerful netbook for hundreds less.

      Now today, it is all about how is Apple making them so inexpensive.

      Strange...

    • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

      They can price it so low because the are more vertically integrated than their competitors. They have a lot of power over suppliers and manufacturers so they can get the quality they want. They have a very good R&D team. They design their own OS so they have lower licensing costs. They also have their own stores. Samsung pays fees to use Android and their resellers demand a cut of sales. Apple doesn't have to deal with that because what they don't sell in their own stores is a small amount used primaril

    • by grapeape (137008)

      According to isuppli even the cheapest version is making money...not a huge margin but respectable.
      http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Mid-RangeiPadtoGenerateMaximumProfitsforApple,iSuppliEstimates.aspx [isuppli.com]

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Among other things, R&D spread out over millions of units is a lot less than R&D spread out over 100k units.

    • by sunfly (1248694) on Monday March 07, 2011 @09:34PM (#35414424)

      Yes, it is very easy actually.

      1) They have huge quantities of scale. While other manufacturers are making 100's of models, Apple focuses on a few. Easier to get great prices on millions of the same part, then to get prices on thousands of different parts with retooling in between.

      2) That huge cash reserve? They are using it to hedge prices. For example they are pre-purchasing key components so that the manufacturer does not have to add in risk costs for unknown future prices. They are also sharing the cost of new manufacturing facilities as part of a contract to get better prices. Hard to compete when you can't buy components because they have bought up half the supply, leaving everyone else to fight over the other half.

      3) The entire company is ran very lean, probably the biggest lean manufacturing company in existence. Since all their effort is very focused, they do not have the overhead that most other companies their size have. Check out their R & D spending versus sales. Incredible.

      For those that think they are running razor thin margins to get iPad hardware sales to make it up on the back side, you do not know Apple very well. They make healthy margins on everything they do. They have even hinted that they could drop the prices on iPads if they need to and still make a lot of profit. They are a public company, check it their filings.

    • by jrumney (197329)

      how is Apple making the iPad so cheap?

      iTunes

      No manufacturer that is shipping Android based hardware has the option to subsidize the hardware with a 30% cut of all the media, apps and content that gets loaded on the device.

  • Apple didn't really add anything different in the iPad 2 that other competitors didn't already have. However it was thinner and cheaper than the Galaxy Tab. But, I would pay more for more features if the Tab has them.
    • Re:Change (Score:5, Insightful)

      by peragrin (659227) on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:55PM (#35414044)

      but would you pay more to beta test it too?

      The xoom is shipping with a broken sd card slot, no flash(other than the ads saying it has it) and if you want the full 4G modem your paying for you have to mail the unit it)

      spending more for a crippled unit doesn't sound right. Apple should be doing that not everyone else.

      • by markdavis (642305)

        The SD slot isn't broken, it is just problematic with the fast release of Android 3.0. It will be "fixed" pretty soon, I am sure.

        Flash will be available in a few weeks according to pretty reliable sources. Apple doesn't have Flash anyway, so that is a poor comparison point.

        4G modem only matters on the overpriced non-WiFi-only model, which few people want.

        Not that I am defending Motorola... they pushed the product out a little too quickly. They were desperate to beat Apple's release of the iPad2. And the

        • by Tharsman (1364603)

          The SD slot isn't broken, it is just problematic with the fast release of Android 3.0. It will be "fixed" pretty soon, I am sure.

          Flash will be available in a few weeks according to pretty reliable sources.

          In other words: Android 3 was released in beta state, with at least two important features missing: sd card reading and Flash.

          Apple doesn't have Flash anyway, so that is a poor comparison point.

          He did not compare Flash, he stated that it's a promoted feature that is missing at launch, making it feel like a Beta.

          4G modem only matters on the overpriced non-WiFi-only model, which few people want.

          If few want that model, then there is no Xoom for anyone else that cares since the wifi only model has not been released yet.

          Not that I am defending Motorola... they pushed the product out a little too quickly. They were desperate to beat Apple's release of the iPad2. And they made it, but so what? Since they didn't release the WiFi-only version, which is what 90% (?) of prospective customers want, it is a hollow "victory". I just wouldn't characterize the Xoom as "crippled" like you did.

          My theory, for the little it's worth, is that Motorola found out about the iPad 2 release date and rushed release of an unfinished unit in

        • by martinX (672498)

          The SD slot isn't broken, it is just problematic.

          This parrot isn't dead, it's just pining for the fjords.

  • It'll be nice to see some better competition. I'm even willing to pay a bit more for a device with a USB host that I can run any software I want on, but there's a limit. I'd actually be really happy with one of the $100 7" Chinese tablets running Android if they had a proper capacitive screen. Hope production costs on them drop soon.
  • So Apples new iPad 2 with the same size screen is the same price as the old one (with the same size screen) and Samsung's newer model with a much larger screen costs more so Samsung needs to think over pricing? Is their VP drinking the Apple Kool Aid? And seriously, does the skinnierness even matter? Sure, the rounded edge looks a helluva lot better than the old flat edge, but if it was the same thickness would anybody die? That new cover is very way cool though. All the 3rd party accessory guys must be g
    • The problem isn't just that the Samsung is more expensive, it's that it's a lot more expensive. Even the 7" Galaxy tab is priced well above the 9.7" iPad/iPad2, and the 10.1" version was expected to be even more expensive.
  • is their updates to software and the quality of those updates. As an example, Samsung Epic 4 owners have waited many months for the update to Froyo. Finally, an update was pushed out recently, and promptly withdrawn. A working update is still not shipping.

  • by bmacs27 (1314285) on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:46PM (#35413940)
    In all of the shareholder conference calls they've explained away the dropping margins as "aggressive pricing of the iPad in order to take advantage of Apple's first mover status." Apple wants to own the tablet space. So far... they do.
  • http://mobilized.allthingsd.com/20110305/samsungs-10-inch-tablet-to-ship-as-announced-despite-apples-ipad-2-announcement/?mod=ATD_rss [allthingsd.com]

    “We will continue to make every effort to provide the most powerful, well-designed and productive mobile device to customers,” Executive Vice President Lee Don-Joo is quoted by Yonhap as saying.

    A Samsung spokesman told the outlet the release plan for the Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 has not been affected, but declined to say when the device will ship.

  • Apple's iPad competitors are still spec-obsessed, and Apple's next-gen iPad coupled with the same price point is forcing Samsung to rethink its tablet strategy and pricing methodology altogether.

    Seriously. What kind of moron CEO's and board members exist these days? Its obvious that Apple released a killer product and yet these idiots do nothing to try and compete. It was pretty much already known what the iPad 2 would have in it, and yet they did nothing but wait until it was released and NOW they are trying to rethink their strategy? Any two-bit / . moron could do a better job than these idiots and yet they are pulling in hundreds of thousands to millions a year plus bonuses. It just goes to sho

  • Competitors come out with new products? When did this start happening?!

    Oh well, back to the drawing board, Samsung. It should only take a year or two to develop something that you can be assured, will totally crush your all competitors' 2011 products.

  • Big players like Samsung must stop playing catch up, now. Stop looking at Apple and monkeying them, that'll get you nowhere. Nobody wants a copycat. Branch out in your own directions or *gasp* outpace Apple. Pour money into research. Raise the quality of your products. Release more timely updates for longer. Yes, it can be risky, but look where that got Apple. They literally created the tablet market.

    You can innovate, but not if you're doing your best to be a follower.

  • by RapmasterT (787426) on Monday March 07, 2011 @09:02PM (#35414114)
    Its' too little too late. Don't even try to compete on specs, or other bullshit...compete on price and targeted use. Get a $100 capacitive touch screen tablet that is little more than a portable web browser...watch how many you sell. I'll take 3 today. Hell, I'll sell my ipad and buy however many I can with the proceeds.
  • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:41PM (#35414856)

    I really, really wanted a Windows tablet five years ago, but the prices were way too high. Whatever your feelings about Apple, their ability to crank tablet prices down to a reasonable range has been a big boon for everyone wanting to buy the form factor. They may lead right now, but when suppliers catch up and can get parts to all manufacturers (in a year or two), we'll all be better off that this is no longer considered a luxurious exclusive of the high end like the Windows slates used to be.

    But how do they do it? Jobs may be the PR showman, but Tim Cook is the Compaq-alumnus who is the real price magician.

    Remember back in 2005 when Apple made a huge exclusive deal for 5 years of Flash RAM with Samsung? That was more than a year before they even introduced the iPhone, but Tim Cook locked up supplier deals people thought were insane at the time. Apple only makes Macs and iPods, what the heck are they going to use all that flash RAM for?

    Apple now has a lot of cash on hand to get the best prices and to make exclusive deals like that, which they said they just did for three more critical parts in their last earnings report (and people are speculating over what those three parts are).

    But finally, when suppliers aren't able to deliver on time, in quantity, and at a good price, they haven't been shy about pitting suppliers against each other.

    Even with the cheapest supplies, might Apple be selling the iPad at a loss? At least for the 1st generation iPad, it's unlikely. Though Apple doesn't break out many numbers they show that iPad revenue over Christmas was almost equal to Mac revenue. Considering the larger sales of the iPad, more sold at a loss would be more loss, and that doesn't seem to have happened with their record profits over Christmas. Second, Phil Schiller last year said after the introduction but before it went on sale that Apple still had some pricing flexibility (meaning they could cut deals with big companies or bring the price down to the public, if no one bought it). Those two things together really suggest that this isn't a loss leader for Apple like the XBox was for Microsoft back in 2005. This may all change with iPad 2, but it doesn't really look like they added any expensive features to the (minor?) upgrade this time around.

    With as many of the iPad parts coming from Samsung (including the A4 & A5 system-on-a-chip) you'd expect Samsung would be in the best position to make a real competitor. Apple's price advantage (though painful to competitors, right now) is short term. It's good that the market is getting competitive with low power, touch input, tablet supplies. And it will be even better for users when tablets in 2012 will be significantly better and maybe even cheaper from a variety of sources.

    Just be patient, Samsung and the iPad competitors will be back soon with better products.

  • Don't compete on specs -- compete on quality, usability, and features. You can slap all the hardware in the world into a sleek case and if it looks like crap and operates like crap, nobody's going to buy it.

    Apple realizes this. Motorola and Samsung do not.

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