Samsung’s new Galaxy tablet arrived in stores this week, and while it is being touted as an iPad alternative, the early reviews are mixed.
Walt Mossberg at All Things Digital calls the Android-based Galaxy a real rival to the iPad:
David Pogue at The New York Times also likes the device, though he notes some shortcomings:
Christopher Null at Wired.com agrees that the device is a solid contender in the tablet market. However, he has a few reservations. Most Android apps are not sized for the device’s 7-inch screen, a few of the buttons are awkwardly located, and Web browsing seems occasionally sluggish. But, overall, he writes:
Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan observes many of the same strengths and weaknesses of the tablet during his use, but his conclusions are a bit more back-and-white. He writes that the Galaxy is a compromise between a smart phone and a full iPad-sized tablet — but not in a good way:
What the Galaxy means for publishers
Of course, no one could really predict the impact of the iPad before it launched, so consumers will be the ones who decide if the Galaxy Tab is a contender. What matters to publishers is that, with a legion of Android tablets in the pipeline, they can no longer simply focus on the iPad as the sole basis of a mobile strategy.
As the Galaxy Tab (or whatever is next) gains momentum, it is going to put added pressure on news organizations to abandon native apps and move to HTML5 mobile websites. At the least, they will need to follow the model of The Wall Street Journal, which is pursuing a “pay once, read anywhere” digital subscription strategy with the launch of its Android tablet app.
Regardless of the development burden for publishers, consumers don’t mind having different native apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7. What they don’t like is having to pay a separate subscription fee for every platform on which they want to read your content.