Earlier this month Apple revealed their follow up to the iPad, cleverly named the iPad 2. When Samsung saw it they were a little put back and decided to take their upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 back to the drawing board. Now, they have revealed the new tablet and it’s got a little brother, the Galaxy Tab 8.9.
The new Galaxy Tabs both run Android 3,0 (Honeycomb), sport front and rear facing cameras, a micro SD card slot and an HD display. They both feature a 1GHz dual-core processor, gyroscope and accelerometer, Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth. On top of that, Samsung claims they are “the world’s thinnest mobile tablets” both coming in at a measly 8.6mm thick and thinner than the iPad 2.
Both models will also come with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX, a new user interface laid on top of the Android 3.0 operating system “offering superior multi-tasking and enhanced user interaction and navigation.” That’s not the only feature Samsung added to Honeycomb, both devices will feature their Reader’s Hub and Music Hub, offering users tons of music, books and magazines via download. Social networking diehards will have the Social Hub at their disposal, “which will aggregate email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface.”
What’s really exciting about the reveal is the competitive pricing Samsung announced. Apple revealed their iPad 2 with the same pricing model as the original and Samsung is right on their heels. The 16GB 10.1″ model will hit shelves for $499! That’s the same price you’ll pay for a Wi-Fi only 16GB iPad 2! The 16GB 8.9″ model takes it a step further coming in at $469! Not bad Samsung, it looks like you’ve got some real contenders here. There will also be 32GB models available at launch for $599 and $569 respectively.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will officially hit shelves on June 8th. Unfortunately, Samsung wasn’t as specific about the release date of the 8.9″ model, only saying the smaller version would be available “early this summer.” That’s pretty vague but, early this summer could very well mean June, right? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
In a press release yesterday, The Carphone Warehouse announced that it had sold one million Android handsets in Europe with a year-on-year growth of 2000%. The Carphone Warehouse has been a strong supporter of Android with exclusive arrangements on handsets such as the Samsung’s Nexus S and a similar deal on the forthcoming Motorola Xoom tablet.
CPW also has by far the best range of Android handsets on the High Street with HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG all featuring in its stores. CPW sells the iPhone too, so it’s a fairly level playing field for customers when it comes to choosing a handset.
“The speed with which Android has stormed the market is phenomenal,” said a Carphone Warehouse spokesperson. “Year on year growth is well over 2000%. It’s no surprise that Android smartphones have become the smartphone of choice for so many of our customers. Hitting one million Android sales in Europe is great as it proves that our dedication to offering an extensive range and securing top exclusives has really benefited not just us, but our customers too.”
The growth of Android is astonishing, especially as I don’t think it really has any cult appeal, compared to a certain other smartphone. It would be very interesting to see how many of the purchasers went into the store to buy an Android phone or did they go in to buy a smartphone? Maybe they just went in to get a phone.
The smartphone market seems to be very much a two horse race at the moment between iOS and Android. Can Microsoft and Nokia catch up to the leaders and will HP’s WebOS make it to the post? Interesting times ahead.
For a couple of months now there has been some buzz surrounding the upcoming Blackberry tablet known as the Playbook. Is it for real or just a lot of hype over nothing, like some of the recent phones from RIM? This CES provided a hands-on which finally gave people a chance to find out.
This relatively small 5×7 device has created a rather large hubbub in recent times and since I haven’t had the chance to play with one I decided to see what the lucky few have had the chance had to say about it.
Frankly I have been a bit surprised. I expected a bit of a downer, given the recent spate of bad luck RIM has had with new products. But I have seen the gaming, multimedia, and video conferencing capabilities called “sexy”. It has been deemed a “flash loving” device, which immediately separates it from the Apple iPad. In short, I have not found any real negatives in any of the major reviews I have read.
Of course, with or without Flash, it still has an uphill battle to compete with the iPad. We have also seen a proliferation of Android and Windows 7 tablets at CES, which also pose a direct threat to the Playbook. While Windows 7 has been widely maligned as a tablet OS the ones I have seen in the past few days may change that sentiment.
We don’t have an exact release date for the Playbook yet, but it doesn’t appear to be too far off. If they can get to market in a timely manner and beat a lot of the other tablets that debuted this past week then they have a shot to at least find a spot in the market, if not take a decent portion of it.