Categorized | News, Opinion

Is Samsung Going to Confuse Customers With Galaxy Tab Nomenclature?

Posted on 29 February 2012 By Ben Lang


Samsung was the fist to show that Android could succeed on a tablet when they launched the infamous original Galaxy Tab back in October of 2010. This was a 7″ device and was devised long before the tablet-specific Android 3.0 Honeycomb build was available. Despite relying on a customized version of Android which was meant for phones, the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 succeed and paved the way for future Android tablets.

Eager to run with that success, and now armed with the tablet-oriented Honeycomb, Samsung began to add various sizes to the Galaxy Tab line. Now that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been unleashed, Samsung faces the problem of bringing their current devices up to date with the latest software. However, Samsung is going about it in a dubious way — they’re adding new models which seem to usurp older models, but the specs and designs hardly differentiate the new products. Here’s the current rundown of Galaxy Tab devices (sorted by series chronology):

  • Galaxy Tab 7
  • Galaxy Tab 8.9
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1
  • Galaxy Tab 7.7
  • Galaxy Tab 7 Plus
  • Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)
  • Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1)
Despite the nomenclature, it’s almost entirely unclear which devices are supposed to succeed past devices. What Samsung has done here is like making a sequel to the first Lord of the Rings movie, and calling it ‘The Lord of the Rings 2’.
This is shown clearly with the case of the original Galaxy Tab 7, the Galaxy Tab Plus, and the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). Presumably the Galaxy Tab Plus was just a refresh of the original, while the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is a full ‘sequel’ — the specs tell a different story. It turns out that aside from the inclusion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Tab Plus and Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) are almost identical. I emphasized ‘almost’, and one would assume that the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) would have the upper hand in the specs department, but this actually isn’t the case. Instead, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is missing a few features that the Galaxy Tab Plus has, most notably, a slower processor, a lower resolution front-facing camera, no LED flash, and no IR blaster for remote control. Despite these reductions in its feature-set, Samsung still went on to name the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) as though it was a sequel. The two devices even look almost identical to each other.
I can’t see this leading to anything but customer confusion all the way from the research to the purchase phase — I’m having a hard time keeping them straight just writing about them.
Let’s also not forget about the Galaxy Tab 7.7. When this was first announced, it seemed like the much awaited sequel to the original Galaxy Tab 7, but it was actually announced alongside the Galaxy Tab Plus. At this point it seems like Samsung wants it to be in its own size-class, but can it be when the screen is only 0.7″ larger than the Tab 7 Plus and Tab 2 (7.0)? I’m just hoping Samsung doesn’t later announce a ‘Galaxy Tab 2 (7.7)’ while the Tabs of other sizes are seeing something like ‘Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1)’.

Furthermore, Samsung has just recently announced the Galaxy Note 10.1 which doesn’t bear the ‘Tab’ part of the name. The confusing part is that the Galaxy Note 10.1 sounds like it should be equivalent to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 aside from the S Pen stylus functionality, but instead it is actually more like the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) (which again, is hardly distinguishable from the original Galaxy Tab 10.1). So at this point, Samsung has managed to confusingly mesh the Galaxy Note series with the Galaxy Tab series.

Let’s not forget that these devices all look frighteningly similar to one another, given the same size class.

And this is all fine coming from someone like myself whose job is to track this stuff, but to your everyday consumer, this is sure to be a mess. It’s going to impact customers when they search for these products online, when they try to find reliable reviews and specifications, when they go to purchase the products, and even when searching for after-purchase support.

One Response to “Is Samsung Going to Confuse Customers With Galaxy Tab Nomenclature?”

  1. HT says:

    Samsung’s market strategy goes from bad to worse…

    The original Galaxy Tab did have a good opportunity to give iPad a row but Samsung wasted it by marking a ridiculous high price. Apparently Samsung did not learn from this and continue to lose the GTab fans like myself…