Thinner, lighter and faster, Apple's iPad 2 was bound to send some competitors into panic mode.
Such is the case for Samsung. The company is rethinking parts of its upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet in the wake of Apple's iPad 2 announcement on Wednesday.
"We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate," Lee Dong-Joo, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile division, told Yonhap News Agency. "Apple made it very thin."
Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, in its current state, is actually the thinnest iPad competitor, measuring 0.43 inches thick. But the iPad's thickness is 0.34 inches, despite being a tiny bit heavier than the Galaxy Tab.
Besides alluding to thickness, Lee didn't say what other parts of the Galaxy Tab he viewed as inadequate, but he did say that Samsung would have to reconsider its pricing strategy. "The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch (tablet)," Lee said, referring to Samsung's original Galaxy Tab, which sold for $600 in the United States at launch, "but we will have to think that over."
I'm glad to see at least one competitor acknowledge the importance of pricing when doing battle with the iPad. Apple might have a reputation for expensive computers, but so far the iPad has managed to beat its biggest tablet threats on cost. Motorola's Xoom, which launched in February, costs $799 without a service contract. That's $71 more than a comparable iPad 2, and Motorola has no cheaper models.
"Competing with Apple you have to deliver premium products," Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Sanjay Jha said in the run-up to the Xoom launch. Maybe so, but Apple isn't having trouble delivering hardware that starts at $499. That could be because of its retail stores, which remove the sales middleman, and its content ecosystem, which provides another source of profit. Matching Apple on price won't be easy.
The vast majority of iPad rivals haven't committed to prices or release dates on their own tablets. I wonder how many besides Samsung are rethinking their plans right now.
Updated: March 7, 2011 to correct Lee Dong-Joo's name.