In the technological world tablets are nothing more than consumption devices; bits of technology that no one needs but ones that soon no one will be able to live without. The purpose of such devices is clearly to improve people’s mobility and connectivity to the world at large, offering people accelerated access to their mobile existence without being tethered to the home or office. Or in simpler terms, tablet devices offer users the ability to consume information whenever and wherever they want.
For tablet manufacturers looking to unseat Apple’s incumbent iPad, the hope is that users can be lured towards alternative devices on the basis that their competing products offer enhanced consumption abilities; that is, offering users more access to multimedia data and more usability than the iPad. For Samsung, it means the Galaxy Tab.
If Samsung doesn’t already know, trying to compete with Apple’s marketing campaign is a veritable David vs. Goliath battle, with Goliath repeatedly stomping the diminutive David into the ground. That being said, Samsung is taking a different approach to marketing its tablet: Appeal to the average tech consumer’s logic and reason; a move that Samsung thinks is sure to spell success for the Galaxy Tab.
Oh poor Samsung, how little you understand the American psyche.
As tablet devices set to compete with the iPad go, there’s little doubt that the Samsung Galaxy Tab isn’t well enough equipped for the job. Sporting Android v2.2 (Froyo) along with a speedy ARM Cortex A8 1.0 Ghz processor, seven hours of movie watching battery life, decent rear and front facing cameras, a multitouch screen, and built-in support for Flash 10.1, its clear to me that Samsung had one thing in mind with the Galaxy Tab, to be everything the iPad isn’t (Click here to see side-by-side comparison).
Further, take all those features and wrap them in a compact package—dimensions: 7.5 by 4.7 by 0.5 inches—with a weight almost half that of the iPad (13 ounces vs. 24 ounces for the iPad) and Samsung has probably done everything it needs to do to manufacture the perfect opposite of the iPad. Now all the company has to do is make people want one.
In the end, that will be the Achilles heel of all tablet manufacturers. Sure the likes of Samsung, Microsoft, Blackberry, and Cisco will be able to develop tablets that rival the iPad, but that still doesn’t guarantee that users will purchase them. The draw of a device like the Galaxy or the iPad is not measured in its features, but in its ethos—the spirit/feeling/lifestyle it communicates.
The fact that no one currently needs a tablet device means that people purchase them largely without the use of logic or rationality; they purchase them based on feelings and emotions. The question remains then, has Samsung done enough to appeal to the emotion-driven consumer-oriented American psyche? Seeing as I’ve never heard of the Galaxy Tab until today, probably not.