During a media roundtable today at MWC 2012, Samsung admitted that its efforts in the tablet market have missed the mark. Samsung product strategy exec Hankil Yoon was refreshingly direct, saying: "Honestly, we're not doing very well in the tablet market." However, the company appears confident in its new Galaxy Note series of tablets, which includes the 5-inch "phablet" phone-tablet hybrid version and the newly announced 10.1-inch model.
Samsung had attacked the tablet market with a series of Galaxy Tab slates in a variety of sizes, from 7-inch up to 10-inch, but none managed to grab much of the US market as had Apple's iPad or even Amazon's Kindle Fire. It seemed almost like the spaghetti approach, flinging tablets at the market to see what stuck with consumers. Despite skepticism, Samsung believes that its 5-inch Galaxy Note will be the answer this year.
Some have criticized the Galaxy Note as being too large for a phone and yet too small for a tablet, while others laud the size to be the perfect in-between that brings the best of both worlds into one slightly larger but still manageable package. Yoon himself says that he no longer takes notes on paper and uses the 5-inch Galaxy Note exclusively, eliminating the need for both a phone and a tablet.
Yoon expects that Samsung will ship 10 million units of the 5-inch model this year, believing that the S-Pen stylus that comes with device gives it a strong competitive advantage. With the stylus, the Galaxy Note can do more than content consumption, allowing users more capabilities in content creation.
As for the just announced Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1-inch version, Yoon was asked whether it was redundant given the existing Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1-inch tablet already on the market. "The best thing to survive in the market is to kill your products," answered Yoon. "We want to stay competitive in the market."