Time to Tab out

I was a bit irritated seeing this advert today. It’s probably a bit irrational; probably very irrational given that I work in marketing. But it felt like Samsung were rubbishing one of their own products, one that I purchased less than six months ago.

It's time for a new tab
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 advert

The tablet market has become crowded since the launch of Apple’s iPad in April 2010; Samsung added its Galaxy Tab to the mix in September last year, less than a year ago. I picked one up in April 2011, after the company had announced a pair of new devices built around larger screens. These products have their place in the market, but didn’t really appeal to me, I wanted the 7 inch format offered by the original.

What frustrated me about this advert, is that it implies that it’s time to replace the original Galaxy Tab. The headline is not “Time for a better tablet”, it’s “Time for a better Tab”.

Now don’t get me wrong, any tech is going to be out of date a year beyond its launch,  but any company releasing a newer version of a product less than a year on, should be looking to capture new customers, not imply that the earlier product is defunct.

I’ve no stats to back this up, but I can’t help feeling the a tablet computer will have a longer lifespan than a mobile phone. Mobiles are carried everywhere, used and abused and generally given a pounding (at least in my case). Tablets are used in a different way. I’ve used mine for blogging, watching films, checking emails etc, but I wouldn’t take it out on a night out, don’t carry it round town or shove it in my pocket with keys and coins. So why, 11 months after it’s release, should it be time for a better Tab?

I’m a sucker for new tech, as I’ve said before, but this advert doesn’t inspire me to upgrade my Galaxy Tab, it makes me think that Samsung want to canibalise their existing customer base. Other tech firms sell the benefits of their new releases, HTC focuses each advert a small number of specific features that mean something to their audience. Apple focus on the aspirational aspect of owning their new device. Samsung simply state, to me, that, less than 12 months after release,  it’s time to upgrade.

Frustratingly, the small print does contain some benefits, if you have the time/inclination to read that far. It proclaims the device to be “amazingly thin, light, fast and comes with Adobe Flash”. It’s a bit weak. Everything is thin, light and fast these days. So what? And Adobe Flash, a clear shot at Apple, who have refused to include the software on iPads and iPhones.

Samsung should have focused it’s adverts on the improvements it has made to its tablet range. Instead it offers a negative message, one that appears to be aimed at it’s own product. This market is set to soar, Apple has just been confirmed the USA’s most valuable firm, if Samsung is to compete it needs to really sell its new products, not play older products down.



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