Apple iPad vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab20 Sep 2010
Four Reasons to Ignore the Galaxy Tab and Get the iPad
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the first tablet to come along that offers a serious alternative, or poses any notable challenge to the Apple iPad. As formidable as the Samsung tablet seems, though, there are still a number of reasons to forego the Android-based device in favor of the Apple iPad.
1. Display. At 9.7 inches, the iPad has more display real estate than the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, allowing more room for developers to work with in developing apps that capitalize on the features and functions of the tablet. The iPad display also has a sharper 1024 x 768 resolution compared with the 1024 x 600 resolution of the Samsung tablet.
2. Battery Life. One of the critical elements of a mobile computing device is how long it can last on a single charge. Samsung lists the Galaxy Tab as capable of up to seven hours of video playback, while the Apple iPad is listed at ten hours.
Most business professionals won't be constantly playing movies throughout the day, but the number is theoretical and actual battery life results will vary with how the tablet is used. The bottom line is that the iPad has a significantly higher chance of surviving a full day while the Galaxy Tab might run out of juice before you clock out.
3. Price. Thanks to the wireless carrier subsidies in the U.S., the Galaxy Tab is expected to be available between $200 (Rs. 9,000 approx.) and $300 (Rs. 13,700 approx.) depending on the provider.
Granted, users can opt to simply forfeit the subsidy and buy the device outright without the contract. Samsung has also announced that a Wi-Fi only version is coming soon which ostensibly would not be subsidized by, or locked to, any wireless provider, but that also means foregoing the carrier subsidy. Based on what is known of the pricing of the unlocked European models of the Galaxy Tab, the unsubsidized Galaxy Tab could cost as much as $1000 (Rs. 45,700 approx.), making it a very expensive proposition compared with a $499 (Rs. 22,800 approx.) Wi-Fi only iPad.
5. iCulture. Android is growing a culture of its own, but it is not as mature as Apple's iCulture. Apple has an ingenious business model that starts at the iPod to hook people into iTunes and the Apple culture, then evolves to the iPod Touch which introduces the App Store. By the time younger users are ready to join the world of smartphones and tablets, they are already invested in a unique custom library of apps, and are indoctrinated into the features and conventions of the iCulture.
Of course, the opposite is true as well. Android has been skyrocketing in smartphone market share, and the millions of users that have embraced Android smartphones may lean toward the Galaxy Tab in order to stick with what they know and maximize the investment in Android apps.
There are also a variety of factors that make the Galaxy Tab a better choice. Ultimately, though, the question marks behind the pricing of the unlocked, or Wi-Fi only Galaxy Tabs, or the total cost of ownership associated with a contractual obligation to some minimal data plan could doom the Galaxy Tab.
Seven Reasons to Choose the Galaxy Tab over the iPad
The Apple iPad has already sold millions and has a significant head start on tablet competitors like the Galaxy Tab, but the Galaxy Tab has a variety of compelling features and functions that could sway the decision between the two.
1. Size. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 7-inch display. The display is smaller than the iPad's 9.7 inches, but is still large enough to be functional and differentiate it from simply being a large smartphone (like the Dell Streak).
2. Weight. At just over 13 ounces, the Galaxy Tab is about half the weight of the iPad. When holding it one-handed for extended periods of time, the Galaxy Tab will be less strenuous and more comfortable than the one and a half pound iPad.
3. SD Memory Card. The Galaxy Tab only comes in 16Gb and 32Gb models, compared with the iPad's 16Gb, 32Gb, and 64Gb models, but it has an SD memory card slot that can add an additional 32Gb of storage and bring it up to 64Gb. The memory card option also adds versatility and endless storage because it can be swapped out and provides a means of transferring data between the Galaxy Tab and other devices.
4. Cameras. While few will adopt the Galaxy Tab as their portable camera of choice, having the option to snap photos is a plus. More importantly, having a front-facing camera and video chat and Web conferencing capabilities is a benefit from a business perspective. There is a reason that cameras were one of the most speculated features before the iPad launched without them, and why they are the most rumored feature of the upcoming next-generation iPad.
5. Flash. Apple has recently softened its position slightly on Flash, but there is still no direct Flash Player compatibility within the iPad. For those who feel Flash is an important element of the Web surfing experience, the Galaxy Tab is the way to go.
6. RAM. The Galaxy Tab has 512Mb of RAM--twice as much as the Apple iPad. More RAM means more apps can be actively run in memory without bogging the system down.
7. Multitasking. Android has true multitasking. Currently, the iPad has no multitasking other than the core apps like the iPod player that Apple chose to allow to run in the background. When the iPad gets iOS 4.2 in November, it will get the iOS 4 multitasking, but that is still a limited pseudo-multitasking that isn't as robust as what the Galaxy Tab has to offer.
There are a number of reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the Galaxy Tab is only the first in what will be a long line of iPad rivals. Apple is diligently working on the iPad 2.0 which will at least catch up--if not raise the bar.
Things are about to get interesting. Game on.