Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 2 today, its first tablet to run the new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. It has a 7-inch screen, dual-core processor, and blah, blah, blah, I’m already bored.Now don’t confuse the Galaxy Tab 2 with the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Or the Galaxy Tab 8.9. Or the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Or the 5-inch Galaxy Note. Or the Galaxy Player 5.0. Or The Galaxy Player 4.0.
(Did I miss one?)
In the last 15 months or so, Samsung has launched at least eight Android tablets. Three of those (!) are 7-inchers. From what I can tell, the Galaxy Tab 2 is the successor to the very first Galaxy Tab, the company’s first Android tablet that launched in November 2010.
I know I’m not the first to criticise Samsung for launching tablets in every size imaginable. If you buy its “we’re offering you a choice” line, then I guess you can argue the strategy makes sense. But why does that choice need to include multiple devices that are the same size? Each new model only offers minor improvements over the last, leaving current owners feeling left behind.
For example, Samsung’s most recent 7-inch tablet, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, just hit the market in November 2011. And we’re still waiting for the 4G version to hit Verizon. Meanwhile, Samsung is throwing this new underpowered 7-incher into the mix. That means Samsung is going to be selling two 7-inch tablets with only minor differences at the same time. Plus you can still find that original Galaxy Tab in some places.
Got all that?
If Samsung’s goal is to pump out tablets of every size and see which one is the most popular, then they’re shooting themselves in the foot by releasing too many similar devices. Imagine trying to explain to your mother the difference between the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus with 4G, and the Galaxy Tab 2. I don’t think I could.
And if it’s this confusing for me, I can only imagine how bad it is for your Average Joe consumer who wants to buy a tablet for the first time.
Samsung’s tablet launches remind me of the problems plaguing HTC’s smartphone lineup last year. After a rough 2011, HTC admitted that it need to focus on a few flagship devices instead of flooding the market with phone after phone after phone. That’s a good move.
Samsung is falling into the same trap with its tablets that HTC did with smartphones.
Instead of a new tablet every few months, I’d like to see Samsung focus its effort on one or two major releases each year. It’s fine if they want to offer multiple sizes, but all these multiple versions of each size is getting out of control.
In the end, it makes it harder on you.
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