So last night I looked at the days tech news on my phone and almost choked on my Lasagna, and immediately turned to my wife and said, “Kiss that 10 inch Archos goodbye, its going on Craigslist – Samsung just dropped a bomb.” With the news that the WIFI only Galaxy Tab 7″ is coming out in a few days at only $350 my first thoughts were, Why oh why Samsung didn’t you start with this in November?! The tablet market would be so different right now! There would be so many Galaxy Tab tablets in circulation and the expectation of reasonable priced Tablets would have taken hold back in November. Even though Samsung and Motorola have been so hush hush on what their true sales numbers have been, we’ve all seen the analyst speculation that the Apple owns 75%-90% of the tablet market share and that the adoption rate of the 7″ Galaxy Tab has been less than favorable. But that’s because the only “real” options have been $500-$800 on contract Tablets through major U.S. carriers. If this $350 tablet had been the opening foray of the Android Army, the field would look so different. Like I had said last week about the Xoom WIFI, these are the opening shots in the true war for the Tablet market. The high on contract pricing and expensive data plans of the previous contenders really ruined Androids’ first shot at grabbing any market share. Let’s review what the Galaxy Tab 7″ WIFI has to offer, because its been so long since the Galaxy Tab 7″ launched that I’ve forgotten its specs.
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Now if any of you have actually used a Galaxy Tab 7″ you know that it has a first class fit and finish. That’s not to say that Archos’ Gen 8 line of Tablets, or Notion Inks Adam Tablet are bad, but the fit and finish of the hardware / software just aren’t there. When I used the Galaxy Tab I would never have realized that the Android 2.2 build wasn’t designed for Tablet use, it was that good. But was it worth $600 to me to avoid getting it on contract? Heck no. Maybe if it was a 10″ Galaxy Tab at $600 non-subsidized, but not at 7″ when I could get a 8GB Archos 101 10.1″ Tablet for $299.99. Another thing that really hindered other early attempts by Archos or Notion Ink was the problem that these aren’t household names in the U.S., so, not only were they fighting against Apple’s fit and finish on their iPad, they were also battling for brand recognition.
I thought the only Tablet that would be able to pry my Archos 101 out of my hands would have been the revised 8.8mm Galaxy Tab 10.1″. Now I always knew that there was more to this Tablet game than having awesome iPad 2 dethroning specs. But I naturally thought that would be my next step, was to go from my Archos 101 that I would rate as “Good” to the new Galaxy Tab 10.1″ which I expected to be “Excellent.” Little did I know that Samsungs Galaxy Tab 7″ would be so attractively priced. With agressively priced competition like this, the iPad has no where to go but down. Will this start a trend of lowering the expected price of WIFI only Tablets? Probably. Does this change just how awesome the specs need to be to compete even in the entry level? In my opinion DEFINITELY YES.
Now how many of you have been on the fence about buying a Tablet? Does this new $350 offering compel enough to finally make your move?