Galaxy Note II (be creative)

Samsung of South Korea will later this month take another crack at dethroning the tablet leader Apple by going after the Cupertino firm’s iPad mini, a 7.9-inch mini tablet computer released on November 2, 2012 and starting at $320 for the Wi-Fi only version with sixteen gigabytes of storage.

The new Note reportedly has a 720p (1,280-by-800) Super Clear LCD screen measuring eight inches diagonally and comes with Samsung’s trademark S-Pen. Hardware specifications allegedly aren’t that special as Samsung is possibly using cheaper components in order to undercut the iPad mini on price…

Price could prove vital.

Even though the $329 iPad mini is $170 cheaper than the full-size iPad 4 that begins at $499, rival mini tablets from Amazon and Google are sold below cost, often beginning at just $199.

Another differentiator: S-Pen and the accompanying software that Samsung is happy to exploit to its advantage in the Note advertising.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBvwgA9E3GE

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, as it’s predictively gonna be dubbed, will come in two major flavors, cellular and Wi-Fi only. The device is said to be up for an official introduction at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, which runs February 25-28, 2013.

This would give Sammy ample time to position its device ahead of Apple’s rumored iPad refresh in March.

SamMobile has the story:

Samsung’s new upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0 will use a 8.0” 1280×800 TFT (Super Clear LCD) display, 5 megapixel back camera, 1.3 megapixel front camera, 2 GB RAM, 16/32 internal + Micro SD slot. The battery of the Galaxy Note 8.0 will be a 4600 Mah one. The Galaxy Note 8.0 will also have many ways of connectivity like Bluetooth version 4.0, USB 2.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and A-GPS.

The device runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, is a bit bulkier (136.3 x 211.3 x 7.9mm versus 134.7 x 200 x 7.2mm for Apple’s tablet) and a tad heavier (330g) than the iPad mini, which weighs in at 312g.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgZfyMIXdH4

As I argued back in July 2012, Apple had to release a more affordable iPad so that it could cover a wider gamut of price points as budget shoppers were increasingly picking up Amazon’s Kindle tablets and Google’s $199 Nexus 7.

 

Today came word that Asus-built, Google-branded Nexus tablets may have outsold the iPad in Japan during the all-important holiday season. Market research firm BCN polled 2,400 consumer electronics stores in Japan throughout the month of December, concluding that Google’s gizmo accounted for 44.4 percent of all tablet sales by volume electronics retailers versus Apple’s 40.1 percent share.

iPad mini promo (users 005)

The report cites the difference in price — the Nexus 7 starts at just 19,800 yen (or $223 USD), and the iPad and iPad mini are priced at 42,800 yen ($483) and 28,800 yen ($325) respectively — as the reason for Google’s success.

The iPad has been Japan’s leading tablet since it went on sale in May 2010. Now, BCN does underscore there was in fact a shortage of iPad minis at many stores during the time of its survey,  but it maintains that price was likely the bigger factor.

J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz suspects that “near-term supply constraints impacted iPad sell-in activity” during Q4 2012.

”In our view, it was a supply, not demand issue”, he wrote, adding the supply issue was just a “blip”.

This way or another, with all those new tablets surfacing and $199 now being the new $499, Apple’s unit market share lead will admittedly erode over time, but if the iPhone is anything to go by – even with low volume Apple should be able to rule tablet profits.