Most people think that Apple's iPhone outsells the Samsung Galaxy S series and that Apple is number one – that may be true in the U.S., but once you step off our shores, Samsung blows Apple off the proverbial "apple tree." Samsung is a mammoth company in the global mobile field, out selling Apple smartphones, 32-percent to a mere 12-percent for Apple, through the third quarter 2013. Samsung has to be happy with their smartphone sales, outselling all other manufacturers combined in the global market, but Samsung is never happy being the best in only one area, especially when it comes to the likes of Apple, and Samsung has made it quite clear that they intend to dominate the tablet market as well.
Samsung has the hardware to compete with the iPad, it has the infrastructure to distribute their tablets, it even has its loyal band of followers, the s-sheep, so why does Samsung's tablet sales still fall short of the iPads? Oh, Samsung has made terrific strides this past year – when compared year-over-year growth, 2Q13 tablet sales were up 277-percent for Samsung versus a decline of 14.1-percent for Apple during the same period. Samsung even has the masses on their side when it comes to Operating Systems – in November, Android tablet revenue took over Apple for the first time, although the newer iPad Airs had not yet come out for sale, but it was still a "bitter tablet" for Apple to swallow.
But with all of that momentum, Samsung needs to make a few design and marketing decisions if they want to overtake Apple in the tablet wars. First and foremost Samsung needs to stop jumping all over the specs and naming schemes – they need to settle on a solid nomenclature and stick with it. Customers want to know what they are buying and how to compare Apples to Samsung, or even Samsung tablets to Samsung tablets, and they need more consistent pricing. When it comes to our electronics, and especially our mobile devices, consumers have shown that they are not afraid to part with a few bucks, but they expect quality and high specs for their bucks.
Samsung started out in 2010 with its 7-inch Galaxy Tab line, aptly named Galaxy Tab 7.0 and since then there has been a Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, 7.7, 8.9, and 10.1, with corresponding displays. Then Samsung moved on to second generation, Galaxy Tab 2 series, 7.0 and 10.1. Then the third generation is the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, and Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. The Tab series was considered their lower priced, budget models.
After Samsung released the original Galaxy Note and in 2012, the Galaxy Note 2 smartphones or phablets, that included an S-Pen for writing and drawing, Samsung decided to release a more premium, "Note" style tablet as well. In 2012 they released the Galaxy Note 10.1 and in May 2013, they released the Galaxy Note 8.0 and later on in September 2013, they announced the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, which came out with the Galaxy Note 3 phablet (smartphone) and Galaxy Gear smartwatch. In October 2012, Samsung also release the second tablet in the Nexus line, the Nexus 10.
Sound confusing? It is, and not only are the names confusing, but even the processors that Samsung has used have been all over the place – they have used their own Exynos processors, but have also used Intel, NVIDIA, and even Texas Instruments in a couple of models. With all of these inconsistencies, consumers do not always know what to expect from Samsung's tablet lineup. The Galaxy Note tablet series has finally given some credibility to their products, but they still need to settle on a better nomenclature, and Samsung finally may be listening.
From all of the news and rumors swirling around, it looks like we can say that Samsung may have been listening to us and will start using the Lite designations on its old Tab series and a Pro designation on its Note series tablets, finally letting customers know which tablet line they may want to pursue. It also appears that Samsung will concentrate more on the Note or Pro series, an idea that definitely makes sense, because including a Stylus type S-Pen and the associated software, truly differentiates the Samsung tablets from the iPad. This also opens up the door to more business enterprise use, which I believe is the reasoning behind their 12.2-inch Pro Tablet – it is a great size for using and leaving at the workplace.
So we have possibly fewer models, better naming pattern, and targeting a wider audience – now if we can just get them to settle on their processors! Let us know on our Google+ Page if you have a Samsung tablet and what you think of the Samsung Tablet lineup and what can they do to sell more tablets. Are you in agreement with the Lite and Pro naming scheme?