How To Win The Tablet War Against The iPad

(link via @mikecane)

IMHO this is how you win the tablet war against Apple. Look at that price tag. Now, this is not for a brand new, never before seen device although it is the first time you could buy it WIFI only. The original Galaxy Tab shipped in November of 2010 making the actual device about 6 months old and definitely last year’s tech compared to the likes of the iPad 2, but let me ask you something:

Do you really think the average buyer who walks into a Best Buy looking for an iPad is going to care when they ask the sales person if there are cheaper options?

The average buyer that I know doesn’t really understand (or care to) what the differences are if the price is right. What drives them is their wallet and a good bit of The Jones’. People want a tablet. They don’t necessarily know why or what they’re going to use it for – they just know the Jones’ have one and they have to have one too. The basic questions are going to be covered by the salesperson – yes it does email, Facebook, YouTube and Angry Birds. Yes you can do instant messaging. Yes it’ll play music and movies – in fact it may even play more movies than the iPad. Yes, you can show pictures to all your friends of your rug rat playing in the park on the swings. (Nobody loves your kid as much as you… Don’t bore us with them).

So, this is how you win the war. You build a solid device and you sell it at cut throat prices compared to Apple. The margins may be small, but the market is millions of devices so bulk is the key. Sure the Galaxy Tab isn’t the best possible device it can be, but that’s not the point. The point is to be just good enough when an uninformed buyer walks into the store and you’re the cheapest option available that actually works worth a shit and doesn’t look like a cheap piece of junk. If you can do that – you’ve got a shot at winning.

Here’s another point. Let’s take education as an example. If you’re on a shrinking budget, if you need to buy devices for kids, and the requirements are simply that the device support eBook checkout from a service like Overdrive, why wouldn’t I buy 4 Galaxy Tabs for the same price as I can get 3 iPads? Let’s go bigger… 857 Galaxy Tabs or 600 iPads for $300,000. Sure, I understand there’s some serious trade offs by going with the cheaper option, but when the device ticks all the requirement boxes, can you justify extra costs and lower quantity? Can you tell 257 kids that they don’t get to check out the books because you bought iPads instead? Can you explain that choice to the tax payers and the school board?

Is the 7″ Galaxy Tab a great choice for power user types who know the technology they’re buying? No, definitely not. The processor is 1st Gen iPad speed (still not bad), the screen isn’t as good, battery life is less by 3 odd hours, and it’s not as durable, but it is still just good enough to warranty consideration for the average buyer.

So wrapping this up, Samsung might have just drug out a rusty old sword and still managed to strike a fatal blow against the king. If they didn’t we still may be seeing the start of the overthrow. IMHO, all it’s going to take is a powerhouse device to hit the shelves at a huge price break and there will be a new king of the mountain.

For the record I own and believe in the iPad whole heartedly. This whole post was written on one using the Blogsy app. But, if Samsung can launch the 8.9″ 16GB WIFI model for $399 – I’m buying. Not because I think it’s better than the iPad 2, but the price is definitely better and the size suits my needs.