Dear God, Samsung, are you trying to kill the Galaxy Tab in its crib?
On Monday I was overtly enthusiastic about the new Samsung Galaxy Tab looking the business, offering more functionality than an iPad, and without some of the physical drawbacks - despite having hands the size of shovels, I find the iPad is a little too wide and heavy to be held comfortably. OK, so we haven't seen how Android's operating system will manage in tablet form, and UI is one area that Apple has licked - regardless, the Galaxy Tab has plenty going for it.
When the Galaxy Tab was launched at the beginning of the month, we were a little nervous about what the price might be. We considered how Samsung might price it in order to gain some traction in the mainstream market. Apple's 16GB iPad with 3G is priced at £529, while Dell priced its 5" Streak at £449 - more than the entry level iPad. While size isn't everything, it's likely the public may expect to pay less for a smaller product, not more.
Bearing this in mind, and bearing in mind the iPad has had on the market in a very short space of time, the current pricing of the 7" Galaxy Tab baffling. A better word would be lunacy. Amazon are listing it for £599.99, and that's reduced by £200 - Samsung's RRP is £800, or roughly the same price as flying from Heathrow to JFK and buying the equivalent iPad in New York. But is £600 much of an improvement? Without the marketing clout or the awareness of Apple, how is pricing the Galaxy Tab at cost £70 more than the iPad 16GB 3G going to win consumers over?
The Galaxy Tab may be running on Android, a platform favoured by developers over Apple's iOS, but consumers don't care. It may have some consumer friendly features like cameras and Flash support - it won't matter. It's still expensive. And not only is it expensive, but it's so expensive that when Apple introduce FaceTime to the iPad at the beginning of next year, they'll still be able to undercut Samsung. And if the rumours are true and Apple are looking to release a 7" tablet too, that could undercut the Galaxy Tab's price by twice as much.
Short-term, a £600 price tag seems damaging, especially at Christmas when consumers are likely to spend on gadgets; it seems like the perfect time to make in-roads into Apple's market share. Long-term, it's suicide. The Galaxy Tab is due for release on 1st November - hopefully Samsung will come to their senses before then and price it to sell.