Why Apple Should be Scared of the Galaxy Tab 10.1

Based on the number of lawsuits that Apple has filed in the past few months, it’s clear that the company is concerned by the progress being made in the Android tablet space. Even though Apple is still the number one player in the tablet space, and pegged to be there for quite some time, the company is rightly concerned that quick progress in the Android tablet space could change that.

I’m not saying this progress will happen overnight, but it is clearly on the way now that we are seeing competitive tablets. In fact, I would argue that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the “Droid Tablet” I was asking for. Just like the original Motorola Droid wasn’t exactly up to par with the iPad, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has room for improvement, but like the original Droid, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has the opportunity to spark the Android tablet revolution we need to keep the tablet space competitive.

That is, if Apple doesn’t put an end to it with lawsuits.

Why Apple Needs to Worry

Had you asked me just a few months ago, I would have told you that Apple had no reason to worry about the Android competition in the near future, but the Galaxy Tab has changed my mind.

It isn’t perfect, but it is the first tablet that lets me leave the iPad at home without worrying that I would be left stranded without an app I want to get work done or to entertain myself. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G LTE from Verizon, and the WiFi only version offer a good user interface, which, in my opinion, is getting better thanks to the TouchWiz user interface. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also handles the entertainment much better than the other Android tablets.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also has an incredibly thin and good feeling build quality. Call me crazy, but I actually like the feel of the Galaxy Tab 10.1′s back better than the iPad 2. I’ll have a closer look at how the iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 compare soon, but in short it is the first Android tablet that really gives the iPad a run for its money.

I might still recommend the iPad 2 to my mother, but for friends and other users I would suggest that they go hands on with both devices and make their own decision.

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Can Apple Beat Android Tablets With Legislation?

Throw the iBook at 'em Apple

Concerned that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 could pose a threat, Apple has filed injunctions and other legal filings to stop the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (well as other tablets).

Apple has already won a ruling in Germany, which has caused the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to be removed from store shelves across the European Union. Apple has also won a ruling in Australia. Apple isn’t leaving the U.S. market alone, but hasn’t enjoyed the same success in legal maneuvering inside the States.

Apple is even filing suit against the Motorola Xoom, which is like the Gold medal winner accusing the last place runner of doping.

According to Apple, Samsung has copied their user interface, packaging and design. Essentially, Apple wants to be the only manufacturer that can use a thin touch screen slate, surrounded by a bezel, with round corners in a 10″ size which comes packed in a nice box. A simplification, yes, but in my non legal background, Apple is reaching instead of counting on innovation to stay ahead.

 

Apple needs to forget about suing the competition for improving packaging, design and user interface. Tech journalists and consumers have been asking for a better unboxing and user experience for years, and now that other gadget makers are delivering, Apple want’s to put that to an end. I’d prefer that Apple accepts that they no longer have the only sexy gadgets, and work on making better products instead of whining about the pretty new classmates.

Comments

  1. Jake says

    I don’t know to what extent the Galaxy Tab 10.1 copies apple – but the notion that Apple has a right to a thin, simple-to-use tablet, and anyone else trying to make it easy to use, has copied Apple – just doesn’t fly.

    It isn’t Apple makes it simple Microsoft makes it complex, and these two share the world.   That is the viewpoint of some, but I doubt it will fly in court.  It’s just not defensible.

    But if worse comes to worse, the Galaxy Tab can be sold without a box.

    I think the Galaxy Tab injuction – which came as it did as the result of some legal slight of hand – Samsung didn’t respond to the charges (they say they weren’t notified)…Apple won an injunction by default, and not related to patents – though everyone mentions patents in the stories, trying to confuse the issue.
    Well the patent fight is important, but this ruling doesn’t strengthen the patent fight, this ruling was about look and feel – not patents.  So it has no impact on other Android tablet sales.

    • Eric Swinson says

      I have walked into electronic stores all over europe and even at 5 paces the Samsung displays look like a wall of iPads and iPhones. In fact many display shelves are recessed so the bottom edge of the phones don’t show the buttons. Now while I don’t make the confusion on close inspection it is obvious that Samsung mimicked Apple’s design and marketing concepts. To less informed buyers (the kind that get suckered into buying fake iphones on ebay and at flea markets) I can easily see how more than a few have decided that the samsung was good enough because it looked like an iPhone or iPad and reached for their wallet.

  2. Michael Anderson says

    I really wish non-lawyers would leave legal wranglings to those with a clue.  People – particularly those favoring one side over the other – assume that whenever a lawsuit is issued someone is trying to ‘win by legal maneuvers rather than actual competition’.  Is it possible that there is another reason?

    Injunctions are not issues without cause, and in this case the cause was that Samsung is infringing patents, or there is at least enough appearance to take a severe market action.

    Apple isn’t capable of saying ‘we want to be the only tablet’, but they ARE able to say ‘we are the only ones who can legally use OUR IP’.

    Remember, Samsung are the ones who were dumping memory in the early 90′s and essentially killed the US market … this sort of crap is not beyond them.

  3. Jayton Garnett says

    I’m sorry Michael, but considering there were tablets long before Apple got the “all encompassing tablet” patent last year that surely should be reason enough to drop kick their law suits out of the stadium? 

    If you’re saying they can patent a product that was created in the late 90′s/ early 2000′s by a different company, then hell I’ll go patent the design and use of a books.

    http://gadgetizor.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/windows-ms-tablet.jpg
    http://www.zimbio.com/Bill+Gates/articles/bA17yoqgOBT/Nobody+wanted+Bill+Gates+Microsoft+tablet

    Apple’s patent on tablet design is flawed, in that devices existed BEFORE their patent was filed and won.

    I really wish people that haven’t looked into the origin of tablets would leave the legal wraglings to those with a clue, rather than looking at a patent which shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place.

  4. Anonymous says

    Isn’t this a little like Ford suing everyone else for implementing more efficient assembly line practices? Learning from and building upon others successes and failures is a large part of the incredible technological advances we’ve made over the last 100+ years.

    • Michael Anderson says

      I am really not sure.

      But to look at an analogy using your example, it seems clear that everyone making computers is working on faster boot-up technology.  Yet Apple was just sued over trampling over HTC’s patent (from S3 I think?) on a specific fast-boot technique.  

      It can be argued that everyone is working on that exact same thing, and that the patent was too broad and over-reaching and granted on a rather obvious implementation.  But it IS a patent, and HTC was absolutely right in suing Apple over it.

      I personally had a company I was working with under a NDA several years ago steal some IP from a project I was working on and utilize it in their own product.  Our lawyers decided since our usage was internal they weren’t doing anything … but from my end it really sucked  … so I am touchy on this stuff :)

  5. Michael Anderson says

    Again, the granting of patents is an entirely separate issue – and it has been shown again and again that if an invention occurs but is not patented *properly*, then that invention space is still ripe for the picking.

    I think most reasonable folks would agree that the recent spate of litigation in the handheld space from all sides shows a deeply flawed patent system, and inadequate ability to differentiate what should or shouldn’t be allowed and how strictly a space should be proscribed.

    *However*, once granted to an innovative company such as Apple or Motorola or HTC or IBM or whoever, it is the duty of the holding company to defend their IP space from infringement or risk ceding part of the space to competing patents … particularly in such murky patent waters.

    Also, you link to images of tablets that were essentially computers with stylus-based touchscreens.  As to how the patent space differentiates between those devices and the iPad … I have no clue.  But Apple themselves had a device seven years earlier than your pictures in the same space – the Newton.

    And countless other touch-screen handhelds were around in the 17 years between the original Newton and the iPad.  Also – the Newton wasn’t first …

  6. Quentin Dewolf says

    given what apple believes to be true then shouldn’t microsoft/hp be sueing over tablet patents they had a long time ago and implemented in the original tc1000? and what is more interesting is that the components really define things like size and such which apple did not even design (screen, storage, wireless, and such). This is both and issue with the patent system and the general ease that europe allows injunctions.

  7. Yogh says

    I think you mean “Can Apple Beat Android Tablets With Litigation” as opposed to “Legislation”.

  8. Anonymous says

    Love the gold medal analogy… Perfect and so true. What the heck Apple? Why can’t we all just get along? Leave Galaxy Tab alone! And whatever other lame, cliched quote and tab-blocker lawsuit I can think of. LOVING my Galaxy Tab! Wait, can I be sued for writing that?

  9. Anonymous says

    from what i understand the remaining stock for now can be sold,but no new shipments can be made to replenish stock…samsung must truly have apple worried..for surely on appeal they willlose,what is amazing to me is that samsung was not notified of the original hearing…now that just doesn’t seem fair….well anyway i am glad i got my samsung on release date…it is a very nice device

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