Samsung Gets Cocky; Takes Potshots at Apple with Australian Galaxy Tab Launch Ads

After a long drawn battle with Apple in Australian courts, Samsung finally won the right to sell the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. It will now be able to cash in on the lucrative holiday sales period, after missing out on sales for months due to Apple’s temporary injunction on Galaxy Tab sales in Australia.

Samsung is now trying to make the most of its clash with Apple. It advertised the Samsung Galaxy Tab in an Australian newspaper as “The Tablet Apple Tried to Stop”.

Samsung also recently credited Apple for the increased media awareness of the Galaxy Tab, implying that it might result in increased sales of the Galaxy Tab.

“At the end of the day the media awareness certainly made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a household name compared to probably what it would’ve been based on the investment that we would’ve put into it from a marketing perspective,” said Samsung Australia’s Vice President of Telecommunications, Tyler McGee.

While it wasn’t exactly a David vs. Goliath scenario, Samsung was definitely the underdog here. And we all love to root for the underdog, don’t we?

What remains to be seen is if Samsung’s courtroom victory translates into actual sales.

Here’s a scan of the ad, courtesy Engadget:

Galaxy Tab Ad

Samsung Wins Against Apple in Australia; Free to Sell Galaxy Tabs

After a long drawn battle against Apple in Australia, Samsung has finally won, and is now free to import and sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. The decision came in Samsung’s favor just in time for the Christmas holiday season, which should help sales of the tablet.

The panel of judges dismissed Apple’s request for special leave to appeal a Federal Court decision which stated that the ban wasn’t terribly fairto Samsung.

Adding insult to injury, the court also ordered Apple to pay Samsung’s legal costs for the entire proceedings.

Samsung officially stated:

“Samsung Electronics Australia is pleased with today’s judgement by the High Court of Australia to deny Apple’s request to appeal the decision of the Full Court. The Full Court of Australia decision on 30 November clearly affirmed our view that Apple’s claims lack merit and that an injunction should not have been imposed on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.”

Apple’s hasn’t had a very good week, when it comes to lawsuits. Even Motorola won a patent ruling against Apple in Germany today, which could force Apple to pay licensing fees to Motorola to license a GPRS patent for its iPhone and iPad.

Samsung is involved in patent lawsuits with Apple in multiple countries across the world. It has also built up a $200 million war chest, specifically to fight Apple.

Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android 3.2 Honeycomb Update Rolling Out Again!

Samsung has again started rolling out the Android 3.2 Honeycomb update for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi edition in the United States.The company had originally rolled out the update last week, but had to pull it back since it broke Wi-Fi functionality for most users who installed the update.

The Android 3.2 Honeycomb update does not bring much visual changes, but does bring a noticeable improvement in the performance stability of the Tab. Google has also tweaked the GPU drivers in this update, so Tab 10.1 owners should expect to see a notable improvement in the gaming department and benchmarks as well. Other than this, the update also brings a compatibility mode for unsupported apps, ala the iPad’s 2x mode for iPhone specific apps.

The update is rolling out via OTA (Over-The-Air), and should hit all Tab 10.1 owners in the next couple of weeks.  Tab 10.1 owners, who have installed the previous broken Honeycomb build, need to download the update manually via KIES and then install it on the tablet manually.

This is the last Android 3.x related update for the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Tab Owners should expect the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, to land on their tablet sometime in late-Q1 of 2012.

AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Coming To The U.S On Nov. 20

Samsung and AT&T have just announced via a press-release that both the companies will be joining hands to bring the Galaxy Tab 8.9 to the United States.

As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 sports an 8.9-inch HD screen, and is a mere 8.6mm thin. The tablet is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.5Ghz, along with an Adreno 220 GPU. The tablet also packs in 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

This 8.9-inch tablet sports a 3.2mP camera at its rear with an LED flash, and a 2MP camera in the front. The tablet runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb with Sammy’s TouchWIZ UI on top of it. All the usual connectivity features are also present, including support for AT&T’s recently released 4G LTE network and its ‘fake’ 4G network – HSPA+ – as well.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 will burn a hole of $479.99 through its future-owners pocket, which will be accompanied by a two-year commitment. Early Tab 8.9 owners will also get a Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket free of cost with the tablet, with a separate two-year contract. The tablet will be available at all retail stores and online stores beginning from November 20th.

AT&T will also expand its 4G LTE coverage to six new markets on November 20th including Charlotte, Indianapolis, Kansas city, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The cheapest iPad costs $499 without any sort of contract and offers a bigger screen, and a faster processor and GPU combo, and not to mention the fact that more apps are available for it. Compared to all this, the Galaxy Tab costs $479.99 with a two-year contract, offers a smaller screen, inferior processor+GPU combo, hardly has much apps available for it. Its high time Android tablet manufacturers get their pricing right, else the iPad will continue to rule the tablet market.

Samsung Loses Dutch Patent Battle Against Apple

Samsung and Apple have been involved in patent battles spread across multiple countries for months now. However, it seems very likely that Apple is going to win the war.

Apple recently won an injunction against Samsung products in Australia, which could lead to a ban on all Android devices there in the future. It also won a similar injunction in Germany a month ago.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Today, a Dutch court announced that it won’t be granting Samsung an injunction banning Apple products in the Netherlands. The Dutch court stated that Samsung’s 3G patents were part of essential standards, and that the two companies should negotiate a licensing agreement.

Samsung has also announced its intentions to file a patent lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, its homeland. Going by the verdicts announced already, the scales seem to be tipping heavily in Apple’s favor.

Samsung recently signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft, agreeing to pay it a licensing fee for each Android device it sold. Google seems unable to defend any of its hardware partners against patent infringement lawsuits, despite acquiring Motorola and its famed patent portfolio.

Samsung suffered another blow in the U.S., when a Samsung lawyer failed to distinguish between a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and an Apple iPad 2 in the court. When the presiding judge held an iPad 2 and a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and asked Samsung’s lawyers to identify them, the lawyer replied that she couldn’t do it at “this distance”, which was only 10 feet. Even if Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 may be very different from the iPad 2, its lawyers pretty much suck. Either way, Samsung looks likely to lose in the U.S. too.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Announced; Runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb

Samsung has just announced the successor to the Galaxy Tab 7, the Tab 7.0 Plus. The original 7-inch Tab was the first ever Android tablet, which was a worthy’ competitor to the iPad. With a weight of 345gms, and a thickness of only 9.96mm, the Tab 7 Plus is among the lightest and the most portable tablet out there. Its light weight and slim factor ensures that the tablet can easily fit inside a jacket or a handbag.


The Tab 7.0 Plus sports a 7-inch PLS LCD display with WSVGA (1024×600) resolution, and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. The device also packs in 1GB of RAM, and will come in 16GB and 32GB variants. Other key features of the Tab 7.0 Plus include a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 3.0, HSPA+, USB host support, and a microUSB port. There are also a bunch of sensors like Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Proximity sensor etc. on-board.

The back of the tablet sports a 3MP camera with LED flash, with a 2MP camera in the front accompanying it. The Tab 7.0 Plus also packs in a microphone and a speaker, so some people can use it as a rather large phone. It can also record videos in 720p HD resolution, and can playback Full HD (1080p) HD videos.

This 7-inch Tab will run on Honeycomb 3.2, with Sammy’s TouchWIZ UI on top of it. A beefy 4000mAh battery powers this tablet. The tablet will be available in Indonesia and Austria from end-October, and will be gradually available in Southeast and Southwest Asia, US, Europe and Latin America. Sammy did not mention anything about the pricing of the device though.

Samsung to Target Apple’s iPhone 5 with Patent Lawsuits in Korea

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, no one, except maybe Steve Jobs, foresaw how successful it would become. None of the existing platforms could match what the iPhone offered, and it soon became the number one smartphone in the U.S.

Even Android wasn’t able to offer devices which could compete with the iPhone, no matter how hard its partners tried. But then, Samsung launched the Galaxy S. It was probably the first Android smartphone which could go head to head with the iPhone. It was the most popular Android smartphone in 2010, and probably the only phone which Apple could possibly have perceived as a threat.

Apple recently filed lawsuits against Samsung in multiple countries, alleging patent infringement. It claimed that the Galaxy devices by Samsung copied many of the design elements of the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple and Samsung have been involved in a mud slinging contest ever since. Apple has won a couple of injunctions barring the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Europe and Australia. Samsung recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in France, over the use of UMTS in the iPhone 4. Even though Samsung’s components make up a large part of Apple’s devices, both parties seem to be in no mood for any kind of settlement.

According to Apple Insider, Samsung is already planning to block sales of the soon to be launched iPhone 5 in its home turf — Korea.

“Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents. For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights,” said an anonymous Samsung senior executive.

Samsung may have some kind of advantage over Apple in Korean courts, as it is one of the biggest Korean companies. However, Apple’s potential sales in Korea are much smaller compared to Samsung’s potential sales in Europe and Australia, so Samsung will still be at a disadvantage even if it wins, unless all the lawsuits are settled.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Announced; Packs 7.7-inch of Super-AMOLED+ Goodness!

Samsung has just announced a new Galaxy branded tablet at the ongoing IFA 2011 event. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 is the slimmest (7.89mm) and lightest (339gms) tablet in the market, even besting the iPad 2 vital stats. The tablet is mainly made up of plastic, with a metal casing running around its edges.

As the name suggests, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with a 7.7-inch screen. The drool-worthy thing about this tablet is that the 7.7-inch screen is a Super-AMOLED Plus one, with WXGA (1280×800) resolution. Yes, that’s 7.7-inch of Super-AMOLED Plus goodness for your eyes to feast upon! This 7.7-inch tab is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor made by Samsung (Exynos 4210 SoC). The usual tablet features including dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n support, Bluetooth 3.0, DivX/Xvid support, GPS with A-GPS, HSPA+ support, microSD card slot and the usual sensors.

The tablet is backed up by a 5100mAh battery, which can power the tab for up to 10 hours. There are also two-3MP cameras in the back and a 2MP camera in the front of the Tab 7.7. It is also capable of recording and playing back full HD (1080p) videos. The tablet will come in various capacities ranging from 16GB to 32GB. Sadly, the tablet comes with the same 30-pin  proprietary  connector as found on the Galaxy Tab 7 and 10.1.

Like all other Android tablets, the Tab 7.7 runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb, with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX running on top of it.

At the moment, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is possibly the most ‘different’ tablet from all other 7-inches Android tablets in the market. The Super-AMOLED+ display alone is a compelling reason to buy the tablet. The Tab 7.7 will also be more powerful than other Tegra 2 powered Honeycomb tablets, mainly thanks to the Exynos 4210 SoC!

Sadly, Samsung has not mentioned anything about the pricing and availability of the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Hopefully, Samsung will not be stupid enough to price the tablet at anything more than $550.

One crucial reason behind the success of the Apple iPad is its price point. Samsung, like all other Honeycomb tablet manufacturers, needs to realize this and price their tablet  competitively.

Who can compete with the iPad?

The iPad is the king of tablets

Apple’s iPad has dominated tablet sales so far. Android tablets have started making some dents, but none of them are really gaining steam as a product (vs. Android tablets gaining some share as a collection). Harry McCracken at Technologizer asked the simple question every tablet maker should be asking at the time of creating their products: Why should someone buy this instead of an iPad?.

Not just the hardware

The iPad and iPad2 are exceptional products by themselves. Great design (although, I could do with a non-glossy/non-reflective screen), light enough to be really portable, GREAT battery life, and to me, a good size for a screen which would be used for media consumption like movies and TV shows via Netflix, hulu and the like.

The key to their success though, besides the hardware itself and the beauty of the operating system, is the ecosystem. The apps, music, movies, podcasts, iTunes U, and the sometimes overlooked accessory industry. Apple has made slow and steady progress in putting these pieces together and has a seemingly invincible position, but in the world of technology today, it could be very short-lived.

Of course, the starting price of $500, thought by many at the time of the iPad launch to be too high, seems like another killer feature of the iPad.

Ecosystem providers, real competition

Who can really compete with the iPad? Not just the tablet, but the entire package of the tablet, the ecosystem, and the price? Remember, it may be ok to just meet the iPad, but in order to create a serious dent, the competition has to have a pretty big advantage on almost all of the aspects. So, let’s see who is competing:

  • Android at the low end: Cheap Android tablets are everywhere but they may not have Google’s blessing and as a result be cut off from the first-class Android experience, including the Android Market. So they have the price advantage but nothing else.
  • Android at the top end: Motorola XOOM and Galaxy Tab started off as 3G devices sold by the carriers. They required a data contract or ended up costing more without data contract, than an iPad. They suffered from the data contract/price issue to start with, but more importantly, there are hardly any apps for Android in the tablet form factor. An ecosystem though, is not just about the apps, it should also provide a good collection of music, movies and TV shows, which Android seems to lack today.
  • HP TouchPad with webOS: HP recently launched the TouchPad and the sales as well as reviews are not encouraging. HP has a problem similar to Android tablets in terms of getting quality apps available for the customers. It does not have to be hundreds of thousands of apps like the iPad apps, but when you start from zero, it is really an uphill climb. HP does not have a marketplace for music, videos and TV either, but it is big enough to cut some deals and get something going. The point right now though, is that there is nothing on offer, making it difficult to justify the purchase for consumer use.
  • RIM Playbook and Windows 7 slates: I won’t go into too much detail because it is clear that RIM released this thing too soon. It is an unfinished product and has been a flop so far. It is hard to imagine a product from the maker of Blackberry devices that does not have native email and calendar. Native email and calendar are supposed to be coming this summer, but until then it is an incomplete product.   I am similarly ignoring Windows 7 tablets like the the Asus slate, because Windows 7 Touch seems like touch was slapped on Windows 7 rather than it being built for touch-first use. While it works much like a PC, thereby providing a healthy ecosystem to rely on, it is not really an iPad competitor because it is not as light, and is way more expensive.

Windows 8, Amazon tablet Two legitimate competitors

We know very little about Windows 8 and almost nothing about the Amazon tablet. In fact, we don’t even know if any such product is going to come from Amazon, but here is why I think either of these, or both, are going to be viable competitors to iPad (and also lay out conditions for their success).

Windows 8 (especially ARM version): ARM is known for its power efficiency, and we can assume that it will enable small form factor Windows 8 devices with a long battery life. Combine this with the public announcement by Steven Sinofsky that Windows 8 system requirements are going to be same or lesser than Windows 7, and we have a good chance of seeing Windows 8 tablets/slates in the iPad form factor with similar battery life. Windows has a great ecosystem which it supports on the XBOX and Windows Phone, in the form of the Zune Marketplace. It provides a huge collection of music, movies and TV shows. Windows of course, has the most extensive applications catalog (although the current Windows applications will not automatically work on ARM, but will do on Intel architecture as-is). Windows Phone has rapidly grown its app catalog, starting from zero in October/November of 2010 to about 25,000 this June. Since we don’t know what Windows 8 application development will be like outside of HTML/Javascript, let’s just assume that the app ecosystem will be rich enough to start with. This assumption is generally for Windows 8 with full support for legacyWindows applications. We cannot discuss ARM applications until we know more, supposedly at the //build/ conference in September this year.

One concern I have is that Microsoft seems to be fixated on the fact that tabletsare full PC’s, just in a different form factor. Maybe they consider slatesto be the lightweight PC with a similar form factor. I hope that one way or the other, that they understand that there is a product category which is not necessarily a full PC, but serves the purpose of casual computing much like the iPad does today.

Amazon tablet: Of all Android tablet makers, Amazon surprisingly is poised to be the best equipped in terms of an ecosystem it supports music, movies, TV shows, instant streaming, subscription, cloud storage, cloud music player, digital goods, and very recently, even its own curated Android market for apps! It has already shown manufacturing prowess with the highly successful Kindle, although I understand components for a tablet are different from those used in making the Kindle. Amazon also has a great retail shelf spaceto sell their tablet, and that is their home page, visited by millions of people every day.

If they can pull off a 9- or a 10-inch tablet built on Android with their own marketplace for apps, movies, music and TV shows, they would immediately be a competitor.

It is strange that I feel most optimistic about something that we may not see for one more year, and something that does not even exist as a product today. Such is the state of iPad competition (or lack thereof) today, that we are left to place our bets on almost-unicorns and unicorns.

I sure hope there is some real competition for the iPad though, because that can only be good for us, the consumers. Right?

Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy Tab Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

Sprint has started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for Samsung’s first ever tablet the Galaxy Tab 7.

Even though the Galaxy Tab 7 was not a tablet in the true sense, Sammy still made sure to release the device under every network in the U.S. The Galaxy Tab 7 was dubbed by many as an enlarged version of the Samsung Galaxy S, and is powered by a 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor, and packs 512MB of RAM.


The new software release from Sprint (EF17) will bump the Android version to 2.3 Gingerbread and will also fix the HID Bluetooth bug. Along with this, Tab owners should also expect some improvement in the performance and battery life of the device.

The update is already available for download, and the Tab can be updated using the OTA (Over-The-Air) method.

To download the update, Tab owners should head over to Settings-> About My Galaxy Tab-> System Updates, and select the Update Firmware option. The update will then be automatically downloaded and installed.

Sprint aims to complete the Gingerbread update roll-out within the next 4 days.