SAN FRANCISCO — Packingham says the South Korean manufacturer is competing just fine in smartphones versus the iPhone (where it's number #1 in shipments and Apple #2) and has a wider selection of devices than its iPad-making rival. Key partnerships, including Google and telecom carriers, continue to play a major role in Samsung’s tablet strategy, he added.
“Many customers are coming to us for the first-time because of our selection. Plus we have more to offer and in many different sizes,” Packingham told TabTimes following his onstage Q&A session at the Business Insider Ignition Mobile conference here. He added that a segment of customers it's won over from competitors, wanted not only to have a Samsung-branded product, but one that runs on Google’s operating system.
While Apple only offers two sizes (iPad and iPad mini) Samsung’s tablet portfolio currently includes its 10-inch and 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2, the 8-inch update to its Note 2 phablet (phone and tablet) to complement its top-selling 5.5-inch Note device. Samsung also is apparently planning a high end assault by the end of this year with the release of the ‘Galaxy Tab 3 Plus’ tablet that will sport a full HD Super AMOLED display to compete with Apple’s iPad Retina display.
And where Apple is all about iOS devices, Samsung offers tablets with both the Android operating system as well as for Microsoft’s Windows 8 such as its Windows 8 Pro.
Samsung still has a long way to go before it can claim victory, however. While the company more than doubled its share of the tablet computer market in the last three months of 2012, Samsung tablets only account for 15% of the total market, according to technology research firm IDC. Samsung shipped 7.9 million tablets in late 2012, compared to the 22.9 million iPads Apple shipped over that period.
While Packingham acknowledged Apple as Samsung’s rival for mainstream devices, he said his company faces stiffer competition for lower-cost products from Huawei and other Asian tablet manufacturers.