Go to contents

Tablet PC War

Posted September. 06, 2010 13:24,   


The Galaxy Tab, a tablet PC unveiled by Samsung Electronics Thursday, is seven inches wide and weighs 380 grams. Apple’s iPad is 9.7 inches wide and weighs 680 grams. Appearance tells how differently the two companies see a tablet PC, which combines a PC and mobile phone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on a sofa in January to show that it can replace PCs in using Wi-Fi and playing music and movies in the living room. On the contrary, Samsung Europe telecom executive Thomas Richter took out the Galaxy Tap from the inside pocket of his jacket to stress its portability.

When the iPad made its debut, latecomers found it hard to play catch-up. Samsung, however, has differentiated the Galaxy Tab from the iPad by making it smaller and lighter. The Korean company will see success if its device is considered to have carved out a new market for the tablet PC market instead of following the iPad’s lead. Following their heated competition in the smartphone and tablet PC markets, Samsung and Apple will also duke it out in the smart TV market one or two years later.

Other global electronics makers are not sitting idly by. Toshiba of Japan has unveiled its 10.1-inch tablet PC Folio 100 in aiming for the European and Chinese markets. New products are also in the pipeline in the U.S. and Taiwan. In Korea, KT will release its seven-inch Identity Tab and LG Electronics will unveil its own tablet PC by year’s end. Apple is preparing for the next generation iPad and Samsung will release the Galaxy Tab in different sizes to suit the needs of consumers.

The success of a tablet PC depends on the variety of high-quality content rather than the device’s performance. A company with a diversity of content such as music, e-books, games and videos secured through either independent development or partnerships with content developers will gain the upper hand not only in the tablet PC market but also in that for smart TVs. The rise in the stock values of animation companies is attributable to higher demand for tablet PCs. The diversity of applications is another important factor in the competition and the iPad is strong in this area. In the “smart competition,” superiority in hardware cannot be ignored but creativity and content will be increasingly significant in going forward.

Editorial Writer Hong Kwon-hee (konihong@donga.com)