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A Tail of Two Tablets
It is a tail of two tablets. In 11 weeks Samsung came out with a completely redesigned Tab 10.1 and gave out 5,000 samples. The original Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is now the 10.1V on Vodofone.
Feb 13, 2011 MWC: Samsung officially announces Galaxy Tab 10.1
- Working units shown
Mar 2, 2011 iPad 2 announced: 8.9mm, lighter. Comparison to Galaxy 10.1, Xoom, etc.
Mar 4, 2011 Samsung sees iPad 2's thinness, price as challenges
- Samsung Exec VP Lee Don-joo: "We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate, Apple made it very thin."
- "The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch (tablet) but we will have to think that over," Lee added.
Mar 22, 2011 CTIA: Samsung unveils Galaxy 8.9 and 10.1, 'world's thinnest' tablets
- Now 8.6mm, only non-working dummy units shown
- 20 days after the iPad 2, Samsung shows a completely new tablet.
Apr 20, 2011 Vodafone Australia Blog | Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v Pre-Order
- Original Tab 10.1 become 10.1V and goes to Vodofone
May 10, 2011 Samsung passes out 5000 Galaxy Tab 10.1 to I/O attendees
20 days after the iPad 2 was introduced, Samsung showed non-working dummy models of a new 10.1 design. Eight weeks later Samsung passed out 5,000 working samples of the new design. Samsung systematically beat or matched every new iPad 2 spec and also cut their price down to match.
How was that possible?
The iPad is made by Foxconn. The Xoom is made by Foxconn. The TouchPad is made by Inventec. The PlayBook is made by Quanta.
But Samsung, LG, HTC, Asus, and Acer make their own tablets and phones. Samsung has no middle-man and can go from outdated to industry leading in 11 weeks as we just saw.
So it appears that Samsung brought up the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II that was probably due out for the holidays and made it appear almost over night. So what we see as the 10.1 is probably really the 10.1 II. Like everyone else, Samsung works on degins years in advance. Samsung has said that they want new products for each main model in under a year with 6 months as the goal. So the 10.1 III is already start as is the 10.1 IV, etc.
Also, Samsung makes the A5 CPU in the iPad 2 so they new the design, maybe just not how thin it would be or how cheap. Apple pulled a rabbit out of the hat on March 2. Remember that the March 2 launch was announced like it was last minute, after Apple could see what was coming out at CES and MWC. Samsung was caught off guard by the thinness and price.
Samsung was already in production with the first gen so they had to think of something to do with them, so off to Australia they went as the 10.1V. No one would ever notice.
Samsung moved up a planned product...by about 6 months...and they did it on a dime. Which means that the Tab 10.1 III team is probably sweating blood because they need to be ready at least 6 months early now too.