Samsung admits not doing well in tablet market, should stop requiring data contracts

Samsung admits not doing well in tablet market, should stop requiring data contracts

Summary: Samsung makes some excellent Android hardware, but can't seem to get a focused tablet strategy out to consumers. They should also stop requiring high cost, low cap data for their cellular radio models.


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.

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Topics: Hardware, Android, Laptops, Mobility, Samsung, Tablets

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  • That isn't even the biggest problem

    The biggest problem is the fact that Samsung copied everything about the iPad that the Android faithful complained about the most... Seriously, no SD card and a proprietary connector.

    Their problem is, they don't know their target audience.
    • Admitting they copy?

      If you spend all your time copying the other guy (Apple), then you have no identity of your own and no target audience of your own. While Apple did extensive testing and research to find the size consumers will resonate with the most, Samsung instead resorted to throwing everything (at every size) at the wall to see what sticks. Everyone knows why Apple continue to use their 30 pin connectors on the iPad, iPhone, iPods. Still trying to figure the reason behind Samsung using the same type or connector on their tablets.
      • Some

        Some, yes... I don't know of another Android Tablet Vendor that used a proprietary port and adapters for other connectivity... I also don't know of another tablet maker that eliminated the SD Card port...

        Apple and Samsung are the only two to do this...

        The OS doesn't really resemble iOS at all so I don't see that as an issue.

        As for Touchwiz, the colors and theme resemble iOS but the functionality of the system does not.
    • So you admit they copied? Thanks that made my day:)

      Still I would say that based on Android sales of phones one might assume that there are a great many Android faithful out there, but based on the many vendors who make a wide range of Android tablets of all shapes and sizzes and the lack luster sales one has to ask just how many of those Android phones sales actually represent those truly faithful to Android? After all while your point may be true for Samsung it can't possibly be true for all the Android tablet makers right? So I would assume there has to be a tablet model or three that hit the sweet spot for the faithful and their sales would be through the roof by now right? Maybe the phone sales are not representative of the actual Android Faithful numbers and that people who purchase these phones use other criteria like cost and such? Buy one get another one free stuff like that? Maybe the real number of the actual Android Faithful is smaller than that?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Not everybody is a brand fanatic

        Some of us buy what we like, regardless of brand. Tho there sure seem to be a lot of brand fanatics (errr, faithful) around these parts. Fun to read, but a little pathetic, too.
      • Yes, some...

        They copied the ideas but it is not a 100% copy! Like I said, they made the decision to ditch the SD Card and every other port in favor of a proprietary port. I never denied that. The Tablet itself is not an exact copy but many philosophies are.

        As for Samsung, outside of their displays, I am not a fan of their products and I much prefer LG, Sony, HTC, and Motorola to their offerings.

        Crud, my wife has a Galaxy Tab 7 Plus and the only reason we bought that was because, they relented and added the SD Card slot.

        As for the Tablet sales, the I pad isn't matching the iPhone either... Android Tablets made up 40% of the tablet sales last year and word is that Sony and Asus have the lions share of the 10" tablets.

        As for the tablets, the Fire shows that it isn't Android that is the problem, it is the price that people are willing to spend on these tablets.
      • Agreed Jim...

        Yes, the real numbers of the Android faithfull is smaller than some may want you to believe. The 5 year old iPhone would have been a dead platform by now if there really was a large faithful community buying nothin but Android. Especially with the number of Android phones out there that's released every week/month, vs a single iPhone release once a year. And Android tablets would have been flourishing from day one against the single iPad if there really were such a large community.??

        The way I see it, the fanatics and the tech-pros makes up about 30% buying Android phones, while the rest are your everyday consumer that haven't a clue about OS version, brands, features etc they have. They're getting a cheap two-for-one deal, that's all that matter.

        It's totally flipped with tablets. 80% buying Android tablets now are most likely the faithful and your tech-pro users. With the many variations, sizes, prices out there, you would think the "large" Android community would be buying these things like candy compared to the single iPad. Many are cheaper than the iPad.

        It's clear that the gen consumer should be the main target for these tablet manufacturer's, not the small Android fanatics. Just look at Amazon and how fast they sold a few million Kindle Fires vs for instance Samsung who mainly targets the Android fanatics with the galaxy by focusing mainly on beefy specs and features that doesn't resonate with the gen consumer. Same goes for Google with their frequent OS releases, Honeycomb, ICS, Jellybean.....
    • I suspect they do know their target audience...

      It's just not the same audience as you think it is or should be.

      Their target audience is likely the non-IT savvy user, who doesn't want to be bothered with SD cards and will buy expensive cables/peripherals without much thought (the kind that buy $79.99 Monster HDMI cables at BestBuy). This audience far outnumbers all the hardcore Android users who root, sideload and customize non-stop.

      They don't care about the hardcore user. Why should they, what are they going to switch to, Apple? Windows 8? That would be blasphemous. So, they'll drop the SD card slot to cut their component costs and maybe increase their profit, they'll lock you into proprietary connectors (but unlike iOS users, you won't have an infinite number of 3rd parties cranking out cables and peripherals, keeping price in check) so you seriously have to consider switching to a Moto tablet/phone the next time around.
      • So apparently...

        "h@rdc0re" is a dirty word. LOL
      • Read the article.....

        Obviously Samsung does not know their target audience that well since they are complaining about not doing well selling tablets.
      • No that isn't true

        Do you really think it is only the tech savy that wants to use a standard power cable, have HDMI support, or expandable memory / a memory card reader.

        You know, out of all the tablets I tried, the Sony is surprisingly the one I like the most... I say this because, they deliver many of those features, add a better display than any tablet in the USA, include a universal remote that is worth several hundred alone, and include PS support as well as controller support.
  • Samsung MUST change...

    I know, this is not entirely related, but I dont understand why Samsung removed some great features from their Samsung Galaxy, when they made S2. I mean, its a great hardware, but I had a Galaxy S2 some time ago, and I sold it just to use these features on S1. S3 is coming, without some features that the first hardware has. Its just a S2 with more horsepower. =p
    Now, back to the subject:
    I love Galaxy! But... it is not enough to compete with Xoom, Eepad or Ipad. Theres a lack of features (again this thing) that is at least annoying. =P
    • Which features ...

      ...have they dropped?
  • Review: Samsung

    These all things are really very interesting and also very cool it is one of the best technology it can provide so many dependent and one of the best technology these all things are great to know about it.

    <a href="">android phone</a>
  • Apple limits what you can do....

    Samsung isn't much better....
    The Windows 8 Armstrong tablets seem like they will also be too restrictive!
    Why is the demise of the PC imminent?
    • First they are all PC's. They are all very personal and they

      are indeed computers. Second while not going to eliminate the desktop these devices do provide some if not many with all the computer power and abilities they require. So for some if not many they may very well replace the desktop. Remember this when it comes to computers, cars, and just about everything under the sun your needs/wants/requirements are not mine, and ours are not theirs. We can not take what we think we need/want and assume that it is the same for everyone.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • Tablets vs phones

    It seems to me that tablets simply show the telco subsidy shell game for what it is--a ripoff to consumers.

    It also shows that Samsung and the other tablet OEMs seem to have a very hard time matching Apple iPad price points with comparable hardware--they almost always seem to have smaller screens, require the subscription or they are sold at cost/loss (Playbook, Kindle, Nook)

    Since the OEMs clearly have a very difficult time matching Apple's supply chain, component sourcing, you'd think they would simplify their product line-ups, but that doesn't seem to be happening.
    • the market will sort it out

      If these manufacturers can't match Apple's price/performance they will eventually run out of resources and go away. They are many, but apparently neither very smart or innovative -- for not figuring this out yet.

      Fighting with Apple on price is not going to work. People are already tired of paying for various carrier services. If you already have an smartphone data subscription you are unlikely to want more of the same.
      One of the greatest selling points of the iPad has been it's unbundling from any carrier. Now, with the successful experiment Apple did with iPhone 4S (making it world phone and not tied to particular carrier) they could just make one iPad model -- with WiFi and 3G (or 4G if there are sufficiently mature chips now) and be done with it. With no subsidy of any kind. The sheer number of sold iPads will force any carrier to support it anyway.
      • how right you are!

        @danbi I've been a subscriber w/ one carrier for 10+ years now but just because I consider them the lesser of the 4 evils (now anyway) when looking at what I want/get. My hope though is that the next iPad supports T-Mobile AWS and Sprint (that should be in the bag). If data plans for it were available from all the major carriers, how nice that would be esp with T-Mobiles HSPA+ (yes, I know it's not >LTE/[true]4G, but dam good enough).
  • Just put W8 on them and they'll sell them as fast as they can make them.

    Make wifi only versions that sell for 199 for people who have their own smartphone as a hotspot if there's no wifi close by. And yeah drop the 5in ones.
    Johnny Vegas