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Samsung Parts in New iPad Doesn’t Mean Great Android Tablets are Coming

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In just two days Apple will ship the new iPad. It’s tempting for some to wait for a new Android tablet that has similar specs, but it’s not that easy.

Interestingly, the new iPad uses parts built by Samsung, which some could take as a sign of Samsung’s next Android tablet. That’s not what it means. There are a few points to keep in mind while waiting for a new iPad competitor from Samsung.

First, it’s important to know just how Samsung operates. Yes, Samsung can produce the Retina Display and manufacture the A5X chip for Apple, but that doesn’t mean Samsung Mobile has the same parts. Samsung Mobile has to bid Samsung for parts just like Apple has to. That’s part of the reason some Samsung smartphones use Qualcomm chips instead of Samsung-made Exynos CPUs.

Samsung Mobile might be working on a tablet to rival the new iPad in specs, but other companies like Sony could just as easily bid for the same parts.

If (probably when) Samsung releases such a super-tablet, it could best Apple in every spec possible and it still won’t matter. Samsung has tried to combat Apple with tablets of every size from 5.3-inches to 10.1-inches, and none have been terribly successful. Some of the Galaxy Tab tablets run just as smoothly as an iPad in some cases, yet Samsung still can’t get them to sell.

When’s the last time you saw somebody using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 out in public? You’re more likely to see a Kindle Fire on the street, and those numbers are minuscule compared to the iPad.

The Samsung Android tablets don’t do well because despite Samsung’s best effort in making its devices look great, the Android ecosystem just isn’t there yet. Tim Cook talked about this at the new iPad announcement, showing the Twitter and Yelp Android apps on a tablet, pointing out that they’re just blown-up smartphone apps.

That seems to be the rule, not the exception, for Android tablet apps. Google may like the idea of building an app once and running it everywhere from a phone to a tablet and even on a TV, but that doesn’t make for great tablet apps. And it certainly doesn’t make for an ecosystem that the average user wants a part in.

The new iPad we know is here, we know it will run iOS 5.1 and will be updated to the next version of iOS when Apple releases it. An Android tablet with a similar screen and specs is unknown. No company has announced anything yet, and when they do there are no guarantees of what version of Android it will run. It could be running Ice Cream Sandwich when Google starts talking about Jelly Bean, and following recent trends it would be a long time before the tablet would see the update. In other words, “real artists ship.”

If Samsung does make a tablet that rivals the new iPad, however, it should hold it back for a few months and wait for Microsoft. If the rumors of a Samsung tablet with an 11.6-inch display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution and a 2GHz dual-core Exynos CPU with quad-core graphics are true it’d make a much better Windows 8 tablet. We already know that Samsung will be making Windows 8 tablet, and it’d be nice to see the attention turned there. If any platform has a chance to put a dent in the iPad’s dominance it’s Windows 8.

More than a year after the first Android tablet hit less than five percent of Android users are using Android 3.0 and above, and that number includes Galaxy Nexus users. It might be time to let Android be a minor player in the tablet space and let Microsoft take its shot at Apple.

A powerful Samsung tablet could be just the thing to get the ball rolling.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

10 Comments

  1. Droid Bricker

    03/14/2012 at 12:16 pm

    Are you crazy or completely clueless in the subject matter?  Samsung’s tablets out perform the Apple’s in both hardware and software capabilities.  Samsung happened to be the ONLY company capable of creating a screen to Apple’s specifications.  Samsung, as they have in the past will release a better screen.  

    Apple sells “bling”.  The Ipad is a fashion accessory and their marketing team has tapped into the fact that most of the US would prefer a popular item rather than a functional one.  

    • win8

      07/28/2012 at 6:50 pm

      That last part, “Apple sells …rather than a functional one”, was the best sum-up of Apple I’ve ever heard. I have just added that as my one and only favorite quote on FB. Thanks ;)

  2. Lights8shadows

    03/14/2012 at 12:52 pm

    Shawn Ingram is just a wounded iSheep.
    The last news about Samsung been the only one supplying the iPad screen, really hurt…
    Man Samsung has 3 different LCD technologies capable to make a “retina” display, plus the OLED technologies that we are seen now.
    That the problem when non-serious people write for blogs…

  3. Benjamin Skinner

    03/14/2012 at 2:10 pm

    I agree that Samsung often releases better products than Apple. The iPad is marketed very well and it happened to get in on the game very early to build up a name for itself. Save yourself some money and get a higher quality tablet made by a company other than Apple. You can learn about some of the top options here. Asus, Samsung, and Google are all coming up with some great products. 

  4. Paul T

    03/14/2012 at 2:43 pm

    I remember reading similar articles and blog posts about how Android phones would never make dent in iPhone market share. In fact, I remember (back in the DOS days) people saying Windows sales would never best Mac sales.  Apple’s closed environment has always been their undoing at, unless they change, always will.

  5. William Gosh

    03/14/2012 at 11:01 pm

    I have to agree with Mr. Ingram on the fact that Samsung has not made a huge impact in the tablet market, despite the fact that some of their products are great  (Galaxy 10.1 for instance). But this is not because of the “Android Ecosystem” : you see, some people just like to make apps as they please and put them available to others for free. That’s called freedom, freedom to do what I want with my tablet, and use my brain to make something out of it (I know this sounds really weird for most of you guys!). Apple filters apps that are going on “market”, and is too obsessed with its image. And that’s the reason why Apple is taking over and doing so good, it looks good, their marketing strategy is outstanding, and most of the people are really dumb. Most of these people will play with their cat pushing a green blob on a screen (btw if you are as excited as your cat with these apps, that’s an IQ red flag right here) or playing on a 2 octave piano (you rock retard!). All of these iSheeps want one brand, one leader, one that solves it all…reminds me about 1984. 1984? Apple…oh well nevermind. 

  6. ConceptVBS

    03/14/2012 at 11:31 pm

    Hurting for some clicks arent we Sham?

  7. Michael Long

    03/15/2012 at 2:21 am

    What a crapple article!  

  8. Vasurang

    03/15/2012 at 9:20 am

    Clueless!

  9. Jack E Mabry Jr

    03/15/2012 at 5:06 pm

    I use my Galaxy Tab 8.9 in public but I will also be getting the new iPad tomorrow and will use both, they offer different things and I like choice.

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