The Samsung Galaxy Tab was unveiled today and it really has the looks of something that can take off. And on paper it seems to really expose the iPad for what it is (a big Touch) but what happens when you dig deeper? Spoiler alert- iPad wins. But let’s go in order. If you haven’t seen the Galaxy teaser, here it is:

I watched that and was ready to buy one, sight unseen. And then PCWorld did a spec comparison. The Galaxy is lighter, has more RAM, better multitasking, dual cameras (with a flash in the back) and the thing is a damn phone. It’s slightly smaller and lower resolution though (but I presume it’s a higher DPI based on that ). Well just see for yourself:

Anyway, let’s do a hypothetical. Both are available right now for the same price on the same carriers. Which would you rather have? I think by now you know I’m an iHater and despise the iDiots that flock to things like the iPad like sheep, but I’m saying it this simply: I think the iPad wins this battle easily. You can win the spec war all day but that doesn’t necessarily mean you win. This hurts to say, but just look at Windows Mobile. It was killing the industry in specs for a long time and we know the end of that story. But let’s get to specifics. For me, it’s the OS that this all comes down to. The Galaxy is going to have some problems that they’ve already acknowledged. They have an odd screen resolution and said that most apps should work on their screen and are working with the top developers to ensure their apps work. The iPad can always just resize and obviously there’s less fragmentation with iHardware so developers know the platform and I think there are 25,000 dedicated iPad apps now in addition to the 250,000 you can resize. App by app, iPad apps are better than Android apps. I’m not saying that the iPad has every app that Android has or that every iOS app is better than every Android app, but be honest, the iOS apps and games are simply a higher caliber than the Android ones. And you’ll be able to get apps intended to be viewed on a tablet so the layouts are redesigned. Samsung is going to bundle the Galaxy with some apps (like email) developed for a tablet, but don’t think that all apps will be tablet ready. Oh and I know some of you love to root, etc. I don’t think you take an inferior OS because you can hack it. Again, if you want to make that argument then keep using WM6.5 but even MS is abandoning you.

Getting back to hardware, if you’ve ever tried an iPad, it’s impressively fast despite things like a shortage of RAM. I really hate the thing, and it does have a lot of flaws, but it’s a pretty solid device. So what about the Galaxy Tab? Well I definitely like the smaller size and the cameras. That’s pretty hard to ignore. And I’m curious to see Swype on that screen but I’m sure it’s good. Not too sure why I’d want a gigantic phone – I’d figure you’d just go VOIP and not pay for a voice plan on a tablet. If this were a hardware showdown, I think Galaxy probably takes it. I mean, choose the screen size you prefer – they’re about the same thickness, and aesthetics are debatable, but I think Galaxy has the better hardware specs overall. Especially the front facing camera that’s really a huge iPad flaw. The only problem is, that doesn’t change the software. It exposes the weakness of the iPad and gives you a good sign as to where the iPad2 is going to be (as they’re always just up to par with the market on hardware) but I just can’t bring myself to take the Android OS over iOS despite my internal resentment with that iDouche and his company.

Oh, still on the fence? What about the fact that the US version is rumored to be $900 for the 16GB version and $1000 for 32GB? Come on – really? For a mobile OS tablet? Tell me if you’re still in line to get one.

I think if you’re looking for an iTernative you probably need to wait for Android to get a Tablet platform completed which is likely not too far off. You also need them to mature a bit. It’ll get there. But it’s an interesting thing that a first gen iPad handily takes a first gen Android tablet. I guess keeping hardware and software in house has its perks.

Anyway, sound off. How wrong am I? Oh and don’t tell me about sales figures – the iPhone is carrier locked and the world has a love/hate relationship with Apple but their bottom line is solid. Sell an iThingie and you get revenue for hardware and software. Sell an Android license and you get…some data and ad revenue. You do the math as to who wins this one but just think of how the world watches and waits for the next iWhatever to come out. iCantstandthem but they own the tablet form factor for at least the next 6-12 months.

7 COMMENTS

  1. At the same price point ($629 for a 16 gb 3G-ified tablet) I’d definitely pick the Tab over the iPad. Though that price point is still too high for me to actually purchase either… With some carrier subsidization to get the cost down to 299, there would be a potential market I’d say.

    At $900, the Tab will enjoy the same level of success attained by the Samsung Q1x lines of tablets from the last few years (which were incidentally around the same size and price…)

  2. David K, you really have this strong dislike of Android platform, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Having come from the WinMo (and prior PPC/WinCE) era, I can see that the hardware and software worlds are fragmented. But that’s what makes Android (and its hardware platforms) so intriguing. They’ve taken what M$ did and failed at, and are successfully competing. It isn’t because most of the launchers mimic the i* interface, or that a significant number of devices actually look like iPhones/iPads. It’s because of the openness of the OS, the ease of modification (thanks to the brilliant minds at XDA and other sites), and the pretty much the lack of the Apple mantra: “Your device is not your device. We only let you use it how we want you to use it. Please hold it a certain way for full (or base) functionality.” WP7 is going down the same road, not because it’s a better road to travel, but because M$ has decided that Apple is correct in that 95% of device users are technologically-inept and need to be given limits as to what they can and can’t do.

    I recently made the switch to the Android platform after being a faithful WinMo follower for many years. I understand why Doug has moved and is a staunch supporter.

    Not to get too out on a tangent, but all of this is related to what you posted above. The GTab was set to be a strong competitor to the iPad, but Samsung has managed to price it too high out of the market. No one will pay more for a tablet that’s smaller than its closest competitor, regardless of platform allegiance. Since there are no WiFi-only models, it stands to reason that in the US, these tabs will be sold at a much lower subsidized cost from the carriers. Even then it seems like a risky gamble to think tech people (or converted sheeple) will buy yet another contract-laden device.

  3. After skimming it once, I read this twice to try to follow your logic, which I am more interested in than either device. Let me know how I’m doing.

    1) There more apps for this device than there are for the iPad, but not if you count iPhone apps which you say may be used on the iPad with some sort of resolution emulation trick.
    2) This Samsung thing is half its weight
    3) It has twice the ram
    4) Its aspect ratio is less common, the screen is a few inches smaller but it presumably has a higher DPI than the iPad (you presumed correctly, by over 8% presuming my math is right)
    5) While you can run all sorts of apps on both devices, it’s a safe assumption that in general iPad apps, with exception to Swype and Google Navigation (and other Google things like Google Voice but that wasn’t in the video), are better
    6) The Samsung device has cameras, front and back, enabling, for one example as seen in your video clip, a better videoconferencing experience than any other device of which I’m aware (including of course the iPad), though not elaborating on that there isn’t yet any apparent indication that, unlike the iPhone 4, this device won’t let you use that over cellular and wifi instead of just limiting you to wifi
    7) You’ve heard rumors that the Samsung device will be more expensive
    Eight) You suspect that the successor to the iPad will be better, whenever it debuts, than this thing, while not noting that all the companies who are free to make and sell new and improved Android devices aren’t locked in together on some sort of sales schedule and not offering any rumors either on when this iPad2 will hit
    9) You believe that Apple has but may lose a form factor superiority within half a year or a year or so
    10) Having dug so much deeper, the iPad is better

    Please spare me from having to read this thing again by confirming that that is in fact what you just said, minus all the tired and annoying iWordplay.

  4. Wow Simmons, sounds like you’ve got it all figured out, including how to put words into people’s mouths even in bullet point format.

    I’ve noticed you’re a gambling man with a the-best-product-or-service-will-prevail mentality. Want to put fifty bucks on whatever iPad is selling on the day of this device’s debut will crush this device’s sales figure for that day by at least double?

    Let me spare you from having embarrass yourself yourself — the answer is “nope.”

    Hey DK, welcome aboard the iTrain!

    Disease spreaders.

  5. I wish you removed the whole “iLove” “iHate” and such nice rethoric stuff out of that kind of article. Putting sugar words around stuff to support any conclusion you please doesn’t make for a profound argumentation.

    What you’re basically telling us is :
    – Many Apple lovers will buy the iPad, whether they need it or not.
    – Apple haters won’t buy the iPad.
    – Android haters won’t buy the GTab.
    – The GTab will have to find it’s audience.
    – A-priori OS preference is concretely the main factor for the choice of anyone looking for a tablet to buy.
    – Apple has a huge edge with their superior advertising and fanboyism.
    – This does not give them technical superiority.

    I don’t think anything is new in there. The only thing you’re actually telling us in this article is, you prefer iOS to Android. Great news !

    Apple is much better at marketing their devices than their competitors. That gives them a very important edge when it comes to sales. It’s their core business : they take validated ideas, and they show the world how to market them. Competitors try to match sales by other means. Technical superiority is one of the advantages of Android. Apple is best at making a device that make you go wah—- during the ten first minutes, Android is best at making a device that won’t piss you off after two days of use.

    Compare all you want. There are plenty of things to compare. Plenty of advantages to either side, to either approach. But we already know that user preference is user preference. Even in an all shiny costume with a hat and red feathers on the shoulders, Mr. Obvious is still Mr. Obvious.

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