David Meyer, Guardian:
An executive at Android tablet maker Lenovo claims that Samsung sold only 20,000 of the 1m tablets that it shipped last year as it tried to “buy share” from market leader Apple.
The Lenovo executive is Andrew Barrow, Director of Consumer Products and Pricing at Lenovo Western Europe. Samsung stuffed the channel with one million of them. Most brands do this when they’re trying to hit a sales target within a deadline. Here’s what Steve Jobs said regarding 7-inch tablets:
7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad. These are among the reasons that the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA â€” dead on arrival.
It seems Samsung is struggling with its 7-inch Galaxy Tab. Maybe that’s why the company is marching ahead with something a bit larger: the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Ah, but for some reason Samsung pulled all existence of the 7.7 at IFA. The company is not forthcoming with the reason, but it probably has something to do with the ongoing lawsuit in Europe between Samsung and Apple. Samsung would never pursue webOS according to CEO Gee Sung Choi. Maybe he should reconsider.
And speaking of Lenovo, the folks there think it wasn’t the size that was the problem. It was the price. At IFA, Lenovo unveiled its 7-inch tablet, the US$200 IdeaPad Tablet A1 running Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’. The 7-inch LCD sports a meager 1024×600 pixel format. At $200 it’s quite affordable, and cheaper than Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color. The Nook Color can be rooted and loaded up with a full version of Android making it a really affordable tablet, if you’re willing to go through the trouble. But the million-dollar question is: is the A1 cheap enough? From what we’ve seen with the HP TouchPad, a 9.7-inch iPad lookalike needs to be $99 to create mass hysteria. The A1 is smaller but double the price.
Samsung will need to blowout the 980,000 Galaxy Tabs still wondering around the channels sooner or later. Maybe we’ll see $99 3G-capable Galaxy Tabs in the near future. And Galaxy Tabs running webOS too.