Samsung sets its sights on being number one in the tablet market

by: Andrew GrushNovember 6, 2013

samsung galaxy note 10.1 aa (12)

In recent years, Samsung has aggressively marketed its Galaxy smartphones and found ways to set themselves apart as the go-to brand for those looking for something different than “just another iPhone”. As a result, for many less tech-savvy individuals the “Galaxy” brand has become nearly synonymous with the word Android.

Winning over the smartphone market is impressive, but Samsung has its sights on even more. At a special Analysts Day event held today in South Korea, we learned about Samsung’s future tech plans when it comes to CPUs, displays and even cameras.

Beyond that, the company’s CEO JK Shin also revealed that their latest goal is to steal the tablet crown from Apple, and become the “most beloved” company in the mobile world. Of course Shin gave no exact time-line for this feat.

For many consumers the iPad is still considered the “gold standard” when it comes to tablets, but Samsung is already starting to catch up. According to Shin, Sammy is expected to sell over 40 million tablets this year, double the amount they sold in 2012.

In contrast, Apple is estimated to sell around 72 million devices this year, versus 65.7 million in 2012. In other words, Apple’s tablet growth is starting to slow down, while Samsung is finally starting to see a major jump up in support.

Can Samsung accomplish this goal?

So what stands in Samsung’s way? If their growth continues at this rate, we imagine very little. Traditionally though, Android has been known by consumers as a “weaker” platform when it comes to tablet apps, which may have previously held back Samsung’s growth.

The good news is that the number of tablet-optimized apps for Android seems to be on the rise and Google has even begun pushing several changes to its Play Store that should help further stimulate the growth of Android tablet apps.

Another area of weakness for Samsung has been its overall specs, particularly when it comes to displays. While Samsung brings its A-game with most of its smartphones, Samsung’s tablets are often good but not necessarily “great” when you consider their price tag.

An example of this is the Galaxy Tab 3, which packs a dual-core CPU and a 1024×600 resolution display and yet is only $50 cheaper than the Nexus 7 2013.

Of course, not all Samsung tablets feature lower-end specs and displays — devices like the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition) come to mind. And if the rumor mill is correct, we could also see unique Samsung tablets in 12 and 13-inch form factors that could also help Samsung gain momentum in the tablet world.

What do you think of Samsung’s current tablet efforts, what needs to change if the Korean giant really wishes to topple Apple’s throne? Conversely, do you feel that Samsung’s tablets are already some of the best Android tablets on the market?

  • jessch97

    I always liked my Galaxy Tab 10.1, but now he’s getting slower and slower. I was waiting for a new Nexus 10, but he didn’t came. I don’t think I’m going back to Samsung. I’ve seen the benefits of Nexus devices and stock Android.

  • steve jobs

    best tablet is a “rooted” one.

  • oscar garcia

    love my phablet note 3

  • bob

    appearently samsung is only chasing market share

    read up:

    i think samsungs, and for that matter androids growth is very unhealthy, like saying toyotas ‘winning’ because their low end cars with razor sharp margins grow market share faster than mercedes s class while at the same time s class growth yoy is 3 times toyota high end

    race to the bottom. start!

    remainds me of windows pc in early 00′

    • bytewise

      Is that why Samsung reaped in $9.6 billion in profits – a 40% growth over last year while Apple’s growth in profit has stalled ??

      And I am not sure why I should feel bad as a consumer about ‘razor sharp margins’. Unless I am a shareholder. I often see Apple consumers so happy about the Apple profits. Not sure if they realise that they are being ripped off.

      • bob

        no, its because samsung has considerably lower profit with 3.5 more phones…

        i want my company of choice to be rich, not penny pincher. that paves way for more r&d money focused on a half dozen of products. you know? when you can actually name and diversify products in your head to figure out which one is better/worse and why.

        and i absolutely have no problem paying for hardware a little more if im getting free lifetime software and updates. you know? updates?

        • frankie

          samsung still had higher net income despite spending a whole lot more than apple especially in R&D. and good source seriously apple insider? lol

          • bob

            oh, were counting the fridge business too?

    • Jason Yuen

      profit margins is a short sighted strategy. Market share is much more inducive to long term growth and company health. Saturating the market with your company name leads to customer loyalty which is worth much more than a single product’s profit margin.

      • bob

        saturating the market with low end generic crap devices? brand image has nothing to do with market share. look at any manufacturer of high end goods. having low market share might not be so bad, especially if youre almost the only one making profit.

        for gods sake, look at windows during the 00′, thats what android is becoming. thats gotta be the worst brand strategy ever – go cheaper.

        and if you read the article i posted, youll notice that the things are exactly opposite of what youre saying.

        samsung is producing its growth exclusively by low end devices while high end devices stayed exactly the same yoy. something is rotten in the state of samsung.

        • Jason Yuen

          You’re right. Brand image has nothing to do with market share. I didn’t say that either. A company can flood the world with their mid and low end products and still be successful. That is where the most money is made. Apple does have a high profit margin, but you see that it reaches the top 1% of the world’s population. Cheaper devices make their way into the hands of more people which ultimately gives the brand more controlling power. It’s not like Samsung is full of crap devices either. They lead in many aspects spanning across many industries. The power of market share allows for more integration and that’s something people like. Apple has their ecosystem of phones and tablets, Samsung has their ecosystems of phones, tvs, microwaves, fridges, construction dozers, and just about everything else. That allows for much more growth even if it is non-top-end devices. Apple is suffering from a lack of innovation in relation to 2 years ago. Some may blame the death of Steve Jobs, but that only illustrates how vulnerable a company is if they put all their eggs in 1 basket. I’m not bashing Apple. I use a note 3 and and iPod touch for music and facetime. Each company has their strengths and as long as they don’t lose that strength, they’ll have something to offer. How they get there is another story.

          • bob

            samsung has to sell 4 times more phones to make a billion less profit than apple. keep in mind that all other manufacturers operate in black.

            regarding innovation, what did samsung do this year with galaxy s4?

            a cpu fast as iphone5/5c and a bunch of gimmicks…

            what did apple do this year? fingerprint sensor on extremely high volume device + 64bit processing to enable that fingerprint sensor, to extend the performance even more over armv8 and to offer enhanced graphics and processing capabilities for garageband, imovie and 3rd party apps to come. it made almost all of its software free.

            what is samsung doing this year?


            unnecessarily high resolution screen, detailed roadmap

            64 bit processing, strangely vague roadmap

            and according to samsung, example of applications that “require higher computing/bandwidth” is dual camcording…

            but yeah, by all means, put more pixels in the screen, your devices have great battery life samsung -.-

            i mean, come on, am i the only one seeing this?

            where is that TANGIBLE innovation from samsung? smth that i would actually use, like fingerprint sensor or free imovie enhanced with 64 bit cpu?

      • abazigal

        What loyalty is there when your customers are really only buying your products for the price, and may not hesitate to dump them the moment a better competing product is available?

  • Luka Mlinar

    LG is killing it right now with the G2 ^.^

  • Rajkumar

    With android by its side no feat is hard for Samsung…. Their real problem arises in design…

  • Roberto Tomás

    right now their tablets suck. even the 2014 edition one. But then again so do all tablets, everywhere. To convert me, they need to: adopt USB3 OTG, start using AMOLED again, and preferably also stop adding useless but expensive hardware like rear facing cameras.

    • Anfronie

      The note 2014 is amazing whether or not your opinion on all tablets is negative

    • abazigal

      So am I the only person who actually takes photos with my tablet?

      Quite handy to have around, especially when I am face timing a friend and want to show him a view of my surroundings, or when I want to quickly take a photo to upload to my blog.

  • Grman Rodriguez

    Awful tablets, that place should go to Sony (if they make more tablets like the z) or the Nexii tablets

  • Bullydogger

    Patiently waiting for the 12″ tablet

  • Bryan Z

    Android for my phablet and iOS for my tablet.

  • Balraj

    I would buy a 8 inch Samsung tablet with 64gb internal storage n without all those gimmicks bloat !!!

  • abazigal

    So what exactly does it mean to be king of the tablet market? Market share? Profits? Having a quality tablet offering which looks great and works great and comes replete with a comprehensive app ecosystem?

    Did Samsung ever elaborate?

  • noah

    My Nexus 10 still outperforms the wife’s new note 10.1 and it was $150 cheaper. It has come a long way since the first edition, but it still has a way to go.

  • Frank Bales

    They might become number one. Time will tell. I’m ready for a new tablet, and my #1 choice so far is a Samsung. I’ll never do Apple. And while Android is King right now, I’m seriously considering a Windows 8.1 tablet because the the software compatibility. I use Windows software not available on Macs or Android. I like having a stylus. There 5 Note devices in my family (4 Note 2’s and 1 Note 8). All are loved by their users, and I’ve seen how handy that stylus can be, so my new tablet will have to come with a stylus. Samsung’s ATIV Tab 3 is too expensive and under powered using an older Atom SoC, but the next version of this tablet might be the one, especially if they upgrade the SoC (which they will) and improve the S-pen usability (which I think they will). Dell’s Venue Pro 11 looks promising too. If I decide against a Windows 8.1 tablet it will be a Samsung Note 10.1 2014, or the 12.2, especially if it turns out to be a Note which it looks like is probable.

  • joe

    WOW BOB!! Apple fanboi much?