Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 doomed by price

If the leaked pricing for the Galaxy Tab 2 turns out to be true, the poor tablet is doomed to fizzle before it even launches.

Samsung's first Galaxy Tab

Samsung's first Galaxy Tab

There are reports of alleged pricing information being leaked for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Assuming the information is accurate, Samsung has apparently not learned any lessons from its tablet experience thus far, or from the challenges and failures of its rivals. Pricing the Galaxy Tab 2 too high will virtually ensure it is dead on arrival.

A European blog called Sammy Hub has shared details it claims will be the pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 in various countries. The costs vary from country to country, but converting to US dollars reveals that the next-generation 7-inch tablet from Samsung will be somewhere north of $400.

Rival tablets continue to attempt to go head-to-head with the Apple iPad, and almost every single one of them has flopped. The reality is that in spite of its reputation as a purveyor of “overpriced” gadgets, the Apple iPad is not only reasonably priced, but possibly a bargain.

If the iPad is overpriced, then every other comparable tablet should be undercutting it by 20 percent or more in price. Instead, rivals ranging from the Motorola Xoom, to the HP TouchPad, to the BlackBerry PlayBook, to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 are all trying to compete with pricing that is the same or higher than the iPad.

Warehouses filled with unsold inventory, fire sales designed to entice customers to at least consider rival tablets, and the growing collection of also-rans that have already faded from existence are all poignant reminders of the fact that price matters. But, the very best example out there to prove that a tablet other than the iPad can be successful at the right price is the Amazon Kindle Fire--which sells for a mere $200..

To be fair, the Amazon Kindle Fire is more an Amazon tablet than an Android one. It has Android roots, but it is a proprietary Amazon flavor of Android. It is not really an even comparison to pit an Android tablet like the Samsun Galaxy Tab 2 against the Kindle Fire based solely on price.

Actually, I’ll take a step back and qualify that statement. It is fair to some extent to compare the price of the Galaxy Tab 2 against the Kindle Fire. The features and capabilities of the two devices are similar. The Kindle Fire costs half as much, but it also lacks half the features. It doesn’t have front or rear facing cameras, or GPS functionality. Looking at the stats on paper, the specs of the Galaxy Tab 2 appear to justify the cost difference.

Where the rubber meets the road, though, users won’t really be comparing the Galaxy Tab 2 against the Kindle Fire and justifying the cost. They’ll be comparing the Galaxy Tab 2 against the upcoming (and rumored to be imminent) Apple “iPad 3”, and that comparison will likely make the Galaxy Tab 2 look like a bad investment.

Of course, none of this is official yet. We’ll see what happens. Samsung may price its tablet more reasonably. Apple may jack up the price of the next-generation iPad. Based on tablet history, though, trying to compete directly against the iPad at the same price is a recipe for guaranteed failure.

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Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
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