Samsung is in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, of course, and as reported by CNET, a product strategy executive, Hankil Yoon, stated, "Honestly, we're not doing very well in the tablet market." That isn't surprising given strategies such as announcing a $500 7.7 inch Android tablet that also requires at least a $30 monthly fee for two years, total cost for the tablet and service is $1,220. Apple gets it right by selling tablets with no contract obligation and an option for monthly data access when the customer needs it.
When Amazon and Barnes & Noble launched low cost Android tablets I thought other Android tablet manufacturers would take notice, but it seems that is still not the case. I have a 3G iPad, but looking at my usage over the past year I see I only used the 3G data for 5 of the 12 months. It was great to turn on the data plan for heavy travel months and then use tethering or just WiFi for other months of the year.
Samsung makes some excellent Android tablets and after using the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 for a couple of months while I served as the tech editor for a book I came to enjoy the hardware. However, Samsung and other Android tablet manufacturers need to stop requiring costly data contracts to use their 3G tablets. You can pick up WiFi only models, but sometimes you do need the 3G data access as well. Samsung also may want to try to focus on just a couple of sizes rather than overwhelming consumers with a tablet at every inch increment from 5.5 to 10 inches. There has got to be a couple of sweet spots for consumers and Samsung should try to find that out.
BTW, if you pick up that new Samsung Tab 7.7 on Verizon you will go through that $30 2G monthly allotment in no time flat with a fast LTE connection so your subscription costs could easily double with heavier usage.
- CNET article covering Samsung statement on tablets
- Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 coming to Verizon March 1st: $499
- Amazon Kindle Fire vs. B&N Nook Tablet: Is there a clear winner? (review)
- MWC: Android’s biggest competitor is Android
- CNET at MWC