A year ago, Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab 7.0, and it was the first “real” Android tablet that was supposed to compete with the iPad. The only problem was that it had the phone version of Android, and that didn’t fit particularly well on a 7″ display. Now, Samsung is planning to launch Galaxy Tab 7.0 with Honeycomb, but with little hardware improvements. So I have to ask, what is the point of this tablet?

Besides the dual core 1.2 Ghz Exynos processor which brings the ability to play 1080p video, and 1 GB of RAM, there isn’t much changed from the first Galaxy Tab 7.0. Even the thickness hasn’t improved much. So unless this one comes at a very affordable price like $250-$300, I don’t know why anyone would buy it over the Galaxy Tab 7.7, which should also be $400 max, and might come just a few short months later.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 is much thinner, much lighter (~335 grams, or almost 100 grams lighter than Kindle Fire at 7″), has a Super AMOLED Plus display, and a resolution of 1280×800, while the Galaxy Tab 7.0 still has the same old 1024×600 resolution.

Samsung and other Android manufacturers seem to want to squeeze every extra little dollar they can by launching an old product with a few improvements in the market a year later. The reason I don’t want them to do that, is because they will end up harming themselves in the long term. They are adding unnecessary complexity to their product lines, which means that instead of asking for a high amount of the same component from a supplier, by making one of their products very popular, they have to ask for many different components in lower amounts, and without getting a discount. When you’re selling millions of the same device, you can much more easily negotiate with suppliers over the component prices.

Early on, people said that Android will commoditize manufacturers. Well it’s not Android that really commoditizes them – it’s themselves. They are commoditizing themselves by launching a new slightly different product every month, instead of putting their full support behind very few products throughout the year, with a clear differentiation between them and the markets they are supposed to serve.

If they want their products to be memorable, they really need to streamline their product lines. How can people remember which tablet is which, if they release 5-10 different tablets every year? They need to stop chasing around every little market segment that prefers a slight improvement to a feature a little more than the other. Otherwise, we’ll get to the point where buying  a tablet or a smartphone will become just as confusing as buying a laptop for the general consumer.

Choice is good, but only when it’s real choice. When you have to choose between many small variations of the same product, it just becomes confusing and it’s in the territory of choice overkill.

[Via – GigaOm]