Android 2.2 Samsung Galaxy Tab Suited for Enterprise?
The Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab was unveiled today and though it's already garnering accolades as the first viable contender to Apple's iPad, at least one analyst thinks it's not quite enterprise ready. Samsung, which showed off the mobile device at a trade show in Berlin, says the Galaxy Tab will be available in Europe within two weeks, with a U.S. launch "in coming months." It's widely expected to debut on Verizon, though Samsung has not disclosed any details on pricing or stateside partners. The mobile computing device is juiced up by Android 2.2, or Froyo, and has a 7-inch multitouch screen, front- and rear-facing cameras, a 1Ghz processor, high-definition video playback and up to 64GB of storage, 3G, Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition to Android 2.2., the Samsung Galaxy Tab includes Exchange Active Sync support, a social hub that centralized SMS, IM, calendar and e-mail and Google Calendar, Facebook events and Outlook support. Because it's a Google-certified device, it also includes services such as Google Maps, Latitude, Places and navigation. Other user interface features include Swype text input tools, the Layar augmented reality browser and of course access to the Android Market and Samsung's online store for mobile apps.
Recent analyst reports are citing Android as surpassing rival mobile operating platforms for the first time, as industry watchers wait to see if any of the new Android tablets coming out over the next few months will be serious challengers to Apple's iPad. The Android tablet from Samsung is already impressing, as sites such as PCMag are touting the Samsung Galaxy Tab as the first true challenger to Apple's iPad based on a side-by-side comparison of specs. One analyst however believes it's all about screen size. "In my opinion, the Samsung Tab competes more with the iPod Touch and not the iPad, given the 7-inch screen. It is more portable than the iPad but that of course leaves you with less real estate to use to compose documents, write long emails and so on," Carolina Milanesi, research vice president for mobile devices at Gartner, told EnterpriseMobileToday.com. She also does not think the mobile device is a great fit for business use. "I do not see the 7-inch form-factor doing well in the enterprise space," said Milanesi. "You need a 10-inch display to have a considerably improved experience over a 4-inch smartphone."
Still, she says the emerging trend of Android tablet PCs shows no signs of slowing down. "Absolutely the trend will continue and we expect most phone manufacturers supporting Android are considering tablets as their next move. There will be more to come from PC vendors, too. Android is the only open source OS that has a interesting enough app offering that will add value to the tablets," she said. The official unwrapping of the Samsung Galaxy Tab comes on the heels of five Android 2.2. tablets from Archos and soon after a major update to the mobile Linux operating system to version 2.2. Android 2.2 includes more mobile security features, such as support for complex passwords and policies, remote wipe and the ability to remotely lock the device to secure data if the mobile device is lost or stolen. It also includes support for Exchange calendars, Adobe Flash as well as tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, and, overall, performs much faster. The mobile OS also now allows for application storage on external devices and a more fluid mobile app market experience. In addition to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the five-pack from Archos, the Dell Streak, ViewSonic's dual-boot mobile device and ViewPad 7, and the Cisco Cius are all new tablet PCs running Android.