With Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung gets a fresh start in tablets
The company is hoping the Note 10.1 breathes new life into its tablet business, which hasn't exactly been a blockbuster.
It's no secret that Samsung's Galaxy Tab line has done poorly, with recent court filings revealing the company sold a total of 1.4 million tablets, including the original
That's largely why Samsung is putting its resources behind the Galaxy Note 10.1. The company didn't announce this product once, or twice, but three times: first in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress; then with a second international announcement two weeks ago; and then a third one in the U.S. at a splashy event in Manhattan today.
Samsung is hoping to parlay some of the goodwill garnered from the surprisingly successful original
"Launching a tablet with a new name gives Samsung a chance for a fresh start," said Ross Rubin, an analyst at research firm Reticle.
That Samsung is putting its resources behind a different brand underscores the early difficulties many companies have had in the market for slates.
Even a Samsung executive acknowledged in February that the company wasn't "" -- as frank an assessment as you'll ever get from the corporate world.
Despite the success Samsung has had in forging the
Samsung, however, has higher hopes for its Galaxy Note 10.1. Despite initial skepticism that the original
The company says it hasin the past nine months.
Samsung itself has never pigeonholed the original Galaxy Note, which is available in the U.S. via AT&T and T-Mobile USA, as a phone or tablet, as its marketing would suggest. Industry observers had taken to calling it a "phablet."
Either way, it's hoping that the cachet built up by the Note can carry over to the larger 10.1 tablet version.
But where does that leave the Galaxy Tab? Samsung has already unveiled or launched a dizzying number of different tablet sizes and features, all under the Tab name. It isn't going away, according to Nick DiCarlo, a product executive with Samsung Telecommunications America.
The market can support both the Note and Tab lines of tablets, DiCarlo said, adding that they would target different demographics. The Tab would go after customers looking for the standard tablet, while the Note would be a higher-end product for people looking to write, draw, or use their tablets for more creative purposes.
Earlier today, Verizon Wireless said it was.
The Note is positioned as the flagship product, with the Tab as more of the value option, Rubin said. He added that in the short term, he believes both the Tab and Note lines can co-exist.
DiCarlo added he wasn't afraid of the Note potentially cannibalizing the Tab products but said that it remained really early in the tablet business.
"You can't call winners and losers yet," he said.
Samsung, however, still has a long road to travel before its tablet even gets near the iPad's orbit. The latest global market share data from IHS hasin the second quarter, while Samsung could muster up only a 9-percent share.
The tablet market's potential has drawn in a number of different companies, from Amazon and its
Still, the Note 10.1 could stand apart from the crowd with its S-Pen. The stylus is one feature that Samsung can confidently claim has nothing to do with copying Apple. (Full coverage of the Apple v. Samsung trial).
Even if Steve Jobs famously criticized the concept of a stylus, perhaps enough consumers will take an interest in it to give Samsung the shot in the arm that it needs.