Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder said a hit smartphone traditionally hasn’t led buyers to get a tablet from the same manufacturer. He believes Samsung will get a bigger boost from its new mini-stores inside U.S. Best Buy locations. Having a retail environment it can control bridges some of the gap with Apple, which has its own stores.
“Whether you buy it online or in person, people want to touch and feel these products,” Gownder said.
Samsung has declined to challenge the iPad on screen resolution. The new tablets have the same resolution as older models, leaving them well behind the iPad and even Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone. The 10-inch tablet has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, compared with 1920 by 1080 for the phone. The smartphone packs in three times more detail in a square inch than the tablet does. (The 8-inch Tab 3 does, however, have a slightly higher screen resolution than the iPad Mini, the closest Apple equivalent.)
Analyst Jeff Orr at ABI Research said that the new Samsung tablets aren’t “groundbreaking in any particular direction,” it shows the South Korean company is honing a strategy that’s been successful in smartphones: producing a wide variety of devices for different customer segments.
“Samsung has certainly shown how that can be accomplished with handsets, and I see more of that occurring now with the Galaxy Tab 3 announcement,” Orr said.
With the new models, Samsung will have five tablets on sale in the U.S., compared to two at Apple. In addition, Samsung sells the Galaxy Note II, a phone-tablet crossover device.
The 10-inch model is the first Android-powered Samsung tablet to use an Intel processor. That’s a significant win for the Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker, which has been trying to break into the market for cellphone and tablet chips now that PC sales are slumping. Other smartphones and tablets run chips made by a variety of companies, all based on designs from ARM Holdings PLC, a British company.