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Samsung aiming to take bite out of Apple’s tablet dominance
With the launch of its Galaxy Tab S, Samsung has signaled its intent to take on Apple head-on in the premium tablet. Priced at the same level as Apple’s flagship iPad Air the Galaxy Tab S could be the Korean company’s last attempt to compete with Apple at the higher end of the tablet market. If rumours are to be believed, Samsung may exit the high-end tablet market if the Galaxy tab S fails to make significant inroads against the iPad.
Although Samsung has been able to compete effectively in the smartphone market to become the market leader, the company has struggled to take market share away from Apple in the premium tablet market where the iPad still holds sway. Other manufacturers have tried and failed to oust Apple from top spot, and many choose to market their tablets at the lower-priced end of the market to avoid direct competition with Apple, as analysed in the MarkeLine case study: Amazon Kindle vs. Apple iPad: Two approaches to the tablet market.
With this is mind, Samsung appears to have pulled no punches in the design and manufacture of its new premium tablet. The bold move to price its tablets to directly compete with the iPad Air may come as a surprise, but the two tablets are actually very similar in terms of design and hardware. Reviews of the Galaxy Tab S have been favourable, with pundits speculating that it has the potential to finally break Apple’s stranglehold on the high-end tablet market. The Guardian’s Samuel Gibbs concluded that consumers’ decisions might boil down to a preference over operating systems which – due to the perceived ‘App Gap’ between the Android and iOS operating systems – could potentially harm the Galaxy Tab’s prospects,.
2015 is expected to be the first year where sales of new tablets outstrip sales of traditional PCs and notebooks, so it appears that Samsung has timed the launch of its new range to perfection. As the market expands, Samsung may be able to increase its market share amongst new consumers rather than by attempting to win market share directly from existing iPad users, thus helping to negate the effects of brand loyalty.
It remains to be seen if Samsung can effectively carve itself a place in the premium tablet market, or whether the Galaxy Tab S will be a last hurrah for the Korean giant.