Samsung predicts it will sell more than 1 million Galaxy Tab units and 20 million Galaxy S smartphones by the end of 2010, according to online reports. In addition, the company plans to introduce additional tablet form factors into the marketplace, seeking to press its rivalry with the Apple iPad while blunting competition from other Android-based tablet manufacturers.
“Various tablet sizes will be launched by many companies next year. In order to cement our strong presence in the tablet market, Samsung is preparing other kinds of tablet devices,” J.K. Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, reportedly told the audience during a Nov. 4 press conference in Seoul.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, Shin also suggested that Samsung will aim to double its Galaxy S shipments in 2011.
In a bid to eat into the iPad’s market share, Samsung will debut the Galaxy Tab alongside multiple carrier partners. T-Mobile, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, AT&T and Sprint will all offer data plans for the 7-inch tablet in the United States. On top of that, Samsung hopes the device’s 3G connectivity, video conferencing, Android 2.2 operating system and support for Adobe Flash will help differentiate it from Apple’s offering.
According to research firm iSuppli, the Galaxy Tab’s parts cost $205.22, less than the estimated $264.27 for the 16GB iPad with 3G. “Instead of matching up the iPad on a feature-by-feature basis, the Galaxy Tab really is [a] larger version of Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone,” Andrew Rassweiler, director, principal analyst and teardown services manager for iSuppli, wrote in a Nov. 1 statement. “While the design approach makes the Galaxy less expensive to produce than the iPad 3G, it also makes for a product that lacks the same usability.”
The iPad currently holds 95.5 percent of the worldwide market for tablets, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, up from 94.3 percent the previous quarter. Android-based tablets hold 2.9 percent of that market, although major competitors such as the Galaxy Tab have yet to make their presence fully known.
“We expect Android’s share to rise in the fourth quarter as more models … enter the market,” states the Nov. 2 report from Strategy Analytics.
“The tablet wars are up and running,” Neil Mawston, a director for Strategy Analytics, wrote in an accompanying statement. “Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business. Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, WebOS, BlackBerry and other platforms are trailing in Apple’s wake and they already have much ground to make up.”
General analyst consensus is that the tablet market will increase markedly over the next few years.