TECHNOLOGY SPECTATOR: Samsung's Galaxy black hole

Samsung may have won its fight against Apple but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still no iPad killer.

Technology Spectator

Samsung's iPad rival still faces headwinds in Australia despite hitting stores before Christmas, while Apple enters another patents deal, speculation continues around a TPG Telecom move on iiNet, and local finance and telecommunication service provider FlexiGroup purchases Paymate, in a move set to boost its hand against rival PayPal.

Samsung’s bittersweet Galaxy win

Australian customers will get their hands on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 before Christmas after the South Korean giant finally managed to bury the challenge of Apple. However, there is considerable doubt whether Galaxy Tab is going to be the iPad killer that Samsung is hoping it to be.

Samsung is understandably pleased with its victory but one imagines the joy of beating Apple in court will be tinged with a dose of wistfulness. The Galaxy Tab may now be in local stores but the device is already up against a number of headwinds.

Firstly, Apple has a five month lead over Samsung when it comes to tapping into the retail market and the tech giant’s legal team can at least take some credit for successfully stalling Samsung’s retail push for a considerable period of time. Not only has that prevented the Galaxy from gaining sufficient traction among consumers, it also means that the Tab 10.1 is coming in as a mature product. The device is already six-months old and Samsung is almost certainly putting the finishing touches on the next model. Given the choice, consumers would rather wait for the new model than spend money on a product that is already on its way out.

They are going to be further dissuaded by the fact that the 16GB Wi-Fi version of the tablet will retail for $579 while the 3G-enabled 16GB will set you back $729. At those prices, the tablet is on par with the iPad and more expensive than its other Android peers. The strategy so far from Android device makers have been to offer their wares at a discount to the iPad to gain market share, and given the product maturity of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 it’s a mystery why Samsung is keen to pitch the device as a premium product. So, we will have to wait and see if Samsung will reap the rewards of persevering through a protracted patent war with Apple.

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