March 4, 2011 | by Michael Heller
If you subscribe to any other Android news feeds, you’ll have noticed the continuing coverage of Samsung reacting to the iPad. It’s just shocking that a manufacturer is changing their strategy based on a competitor. No one has ever seen this happen before.
Samsung took one look at the technological marvel that is the iPad 2, with its myriad incremental hardware changes, and Samsung stopped production. The heads of the company scrambled together to talk about these incredible advancements that Apple had unveiled. The iPad was thinner now! How could this be? No one had ever imagined that Apple would make a device thinner! It would be faster and thinner, and yet somehow be the same price as a product that was now a year old. Impossible you say? No! And, if Steve Jobs could do it, so could Omar Khan.*
I will say that I respect Apple as a hardware company. They make good looking products that could last quite a long time if Apple didn’t so regularly make them obsolete. If more Android manufacturers want to take cues from Apple’s hardware design and fit bigger batteries into thinner products with prettier screens, I commend that ambition. And, sure, it’s interesting that Samsung came right out in the open and said that they would change any features that were deemed inadequate. But, it’s not just interesting, it’s commendable.
I’d love to see more companies come out and say that the competition has done a good job and that they are going to work harder to make sure their product is better. It’s something we see constantly in the world of sports, but it’s unheard of in the world of commercial business: respecting the competition. You would never see an athlete or coach come out and take such blatant swings at a competitor as Steve Jobs did at the iPad 2 launch. It’s rare enough to see someone in sports be as self-congratulatory as Steve was. At a basketball halftime, as hollow as it may be, you hear things like, “They’re playing a great today. They’re executing their plan, and we aren’t. But, we’re going to make some adjustments, and we’re going to come out strong in the second half.”
That’s what Samsung executive VP Lee Don-Joo did today. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is already planned to come in 16 and 32 GB variants, so Samsung was already positioned to more closely mimic the pricing structure that Apple has, but without the 64 GB option. They know that people are unhappy with the Xoom pricing, and they have a plan for that. This reaction is in no way something new for the business world. Companies always compare themselves to their competition and make changes accordingly. But, it’s nice to see that Samsung isn’t afraid to admit when they need to work harder.
After the debacle that was Froyo-gate, this is helping to warm me up to Samsung again. Even just a little.
* OK, so more than likely none of this really happened. Samsung is really just borrowing a play from Apple and stealing some media coverage for themselves off of a rival’s announcement. Sometimes I just can’t stop the flow of sarcasm when I see how media reacts to things.