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September 3, 2010

Samsung & Toshiba Launching Tablets Cheaper than iPad!

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Samsung and Toshiba both unveiled tablets in Berlin yesterday.  Their goal is to provide legitimate competition to Apple’s iPad, and steal a market share by providing quality alternatives at better prices.   Toshiba’s Folio 100 is set to cost about $511 (US), which undercuts the iPad.  Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, along with the Folio, are set to launch in Europe next month.  The Tab’s prices are yet to be determined.

Apple has sold more than 3 million iPad units since its April 3 introduction.  Apple is unlikely to have a real rival in the tablet market before 2011 and the projections suggest that Apple will continue to dominate the market in 2012.  However, other companies are continuously joining the Tablet fray. Research in Motion is launching a tablet in November with a 9.7 inch screen and wifi.  Google is creating an Android based tablet, and Dell has already launched a $300.00 tablet called “Streak”.  Sony is still deciding whether or not it will launch its own tablet, but my guess is that it will have a tablet on the market at some point in 2011.  23 different companies are set to put a tablet on the market, and this will create a good competition, especially in regards to pricing, which will benefit the consumers.

Apple obviously has its die hard fans who won’t leave the brand, but other people who are looking for a good product for a good price will be tempted by the non Apple entries in the market.  The Galaxy Tab is set to be priced about 50 – 70 percent of the cost of an iPad.  I haven’t had a chance to see the Galaxy Tab in action, but based on the quality of other Samsung products I’ve seen and tested, I would imagine it will be very comparable in quality and finish to the iPad.

The price and specs of the tablet will be something consumers will take into consideration, but for many people the most important thing will be the tablet’s ease of use and library of applications.  This is where Apple has a huge advantage.  Many people who have never used a tablet before are comfortable with the iPhone and iPad operating system, and have used iTunes before.  It remains to be seen what kind of operating system will exist on these other entries into the tablet market, but if they do not have an O/S that is easy to use, it will deter many casual users.  While most people do not need the 200,000+ applications available on iTunes, the fact that they are always available and continuously being created is an undeniable advantage.  If the competitors do not provide tablets with easily accessible, quality applications, the price differential will be a moot point, and Apple will continue to run away with the Tablet market.

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