Analysts Debate Viability of Galaxy Tab vs. iPad
Gartner Research analyst Carolina Milanesi told eWEEK that the fact that Android 2.2 is not optimized for the tablet form factor leaves room for Motorola and other vendors to catch up. She noted that early Android tablets will largely sport 7-inch screens, making them closer to large smartphones than desktop-sized screens. That opens the door for devices with touch screens that approach the iPad's 14-inch surface.IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian largely agreed with Milanesi. She noted that Samsung, for better or worse, is going to be the guinea pig for tablets running Android 2.2. "We expect that Samsung has addressed these issues one way or another in terms of optimizing the software for its media tablet," Kevorkian told eWEEK. "But, that being said, it's in Samsung's best interest to enable users to upgrade to Android 3.0 as soon as possible once it becomes available." Once that happens, Samsung and its Galaxy Tab will be in position to be a strong competitor versus Apple's iPad, she said. Not everyone agrees with that sentiment. Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps believes the whole Samsung versus Motorola Android tablet argument may be moot, noting that most "me too" Android tablets that pop up over the next year won't challenge the iPad. "This holiday, we don't think Android tablets will be much of a factor-it's all about the iPad," Epps told eWEEK. "Starting next year, that will change-Android could take as much as 20 percent market share, and collectively we expect Android tablets to surpass iPads in sales within two to three years."
"As long as companies such as Motorola are ready to hit the market as soon as Gingerbread is ready, I think they will be OK," Milanesi told eWEEK. "When it comes to Motorola, I think there are other challenges such as brand and market presence outside of the U.S. to drive volume."