A Tablet Straining to Do It All
By DAVID POGUE
Published: August 15, 2012
In the heated battle for supremacy between two giants—Apple and Samsung— in the digital electronics market, the product and IP battles are fierce. We discussed the former in an earlier posting (http://marketdrivengrowth.blogspot.com/2012/08/apple-case-muddies-future-of.html). Now, Samsung is coming out with a new product to compete with the iPad. The approach of loading new products with features is a natural reaction to compete with a winner. However, one must aways first define the key criteria in the target customers’ buying decision and then ensure the product attributes separate you from competition against these criteria. Adding features that are superfluous add cost and often complicates the product for the intended user.
The hot news in Silicon Valley legal circles these days is Apple’s titanic lawsuit against Samsung. Apple maintains that Samsung pilfered some of its iPhone and iPad designs when creating the Samsung Galaxy series of phones and tablets.
It’s a big, big deal; billions of dollars are at stake. And it’s already having an effect: these days, Samsung is being careful to avoid unvarnished Apple mimicry....
....Its message to the tablet-buying world is this: “O.K., the iPad is great for consuming stuff — reading books, watching videos, surfing the Web. But our new Galaxy tablet is also good for creating stuff, for one simple reason: it comes with a pen. See how different we are from Apple?”....
....But over all, the Note feels like a laundry-list tablet. It has a higher feature count than any other tablet, but those features are stuffed into a machine with less coherence than any other tablet.
Clearly, Samsung had no Steve Jobs on hand to veto anything. Features that don’t work well are mixed in with the winners; features you’ll never use are jammed in with the useful ones....
...But the Galaxy Note 10.1 demonstrates that superior specs, more impressive hardware and a much longer list of features don’t necessarily add up to a superior product. Sometimes restraint is just as important as exuberance.