Samsung started flooding the tablet market with new devices in the first quarter and is pushing its new 12.2-inch tablets, featuring a new user interface and multi-tasking abilities, as its main products for the enterprise market. However, because the devices have weaker price/performance ratios compared to notebooks of similar pricing and most of Android's enterprise applications are inferior to those of the PC platform, Digitimes Research expects Samsung's 12.2-inch tablet shipments to reach only around one million units in 2014.
Out of profitability concerns, Samsung stopped trying to bump up its notebook shipments through low-price strategies in the second half of 2013 and the strategy change resulted in a drop of its quarterly notebook shipments to from 3.5-4 million units to only 2-2.5 million. With the 12.2-inch tablets, Samsung is hoping the devices to help offset the declines in the notebook market.
Instead of pursuing better hardware specifications, Samsung placed its focus on developing a new user interface, software, applications as well as software-hardware integration, and is cooperating with third-party service providers to strengthen applications. Through these efforts, Samsung is aiming to strength the tablets' penetration into the enterprise market and enhance their competitiveness.
However, Digitimes Research believes Samsung's 12.2-inch tablets will have difficulties competiting against notebooks in the enterprise market in the short term. Currently, even the most entry-level 12.2-inch tablet from Samsung, the TabPRO 12.2 starts at US$649. The high-end NotePRO's US$849 starting price is already the price of a mid-range/high-end notebook. Except for a thinner and lighter industrial design and a longer battery life, the 12.2-inch tablets have no other competitive edge against a similar-level enterprise notebook in terms of component specifications such as processor performance, memory and storage capacities.
In addition, Android's lack of apps for tablets and limited enterprise and professional apps compared to the Windows and Mac platforms, are expected to impact the Android platform's ability to satisfy enterprise users' various needs. Even existing apps are having issues supporting some of Samsung's specially designed functions such as multi-windows and hovering touch.