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Samsung Electronics Starts Tablet PC War With Apple

Posted September. 04, 2010 12:02,   


“What are the strengths and weaknesses of this compared to Apple’s iPad?”

This happened at the Berlin Expo Thursday. A reporter asked this question when Samsung Electronics’ tablet PC Galaxy Tap was introduced in the company’s news conference on the eve of IFA 2010, Europe’s largest electronics expo.

Shin Jong-kyun, head of Samsung’s wireless business operations, said, “If Apple’s iPad can be considered a device for the living room, the Galaxy Tap is a portable device that can be held on the palm, and hence their ways of usage are different.”

The Galaxy Tap, which is deemed the rival of the Apple iPad, made its public debut. Sales of the iPad have reached about four million units worldwide.

Shin stressed the portability of Samsung’s new device to reporters from Korea and elsewhere. Though the Galaxy Tap comes with a seven-inch screen, it weighs just 380 grams for convenient use on the go.

“I’m cautious over announcing a specific sales target since the (PC tablet sector) is a totally new market. But I expect more than a million units will be sold by year’s end,” he said.

On whether the Galaxy Tap is closer to a PC or a smartphone, he said, “It’s closer to a smartphone if I had to choose. But since a tablet PC enables the user to conduct tasks impossible on a smartphone, the two markets will grow in tandem. We live in an era when we have to carry more than two USIM (universal subscriber identity module) cards.”

Koreans can buy the Galaxy Tap via SK Telecom from early next month. The tablet PC is pricier than the Samsung smartphone Galaxy S, which costs some 900,000 won (764 U.S. dollars), but the sale price could change according to subsidy programs for mobile carriers.

Consumers might also be allowed to use the Galaxy Tap with the existing rate policy for smartphones. Shin said, “We are discussing with a mobile carrier ways to allow consumers to use the Galaxy Tap at low cost by associating the rates with those of smartphones.”

A SK Telecom source said, “Some insiders say the company might not be able to offer subsidies since tablet PC users are expected to use more data than they do with mobile phones.”

“Since a Wi-Fi-based Galaxy Tap requiring no mobile telecom networks is also likely be introduced, we are mulling what kind of rate policy to develop.”

On the outlook for smartphone sales, Shin said, “We predict sales of up to 25 million smartphones this year. We are targeting a 10-percent share of the global smartphone market.”