April 19, 2012, 6:11 AM — Samsung's original 7-inch Galaxy Tab from late 2010 was an awkward animal, fusing the Android 2.2 "Froyo" smartphone operating system onto a tablet too big for the phone-sized UI and too small for Web browsing and other computer-type work. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 released in spring 2011 with the tablet-optimized Android 3 "Honeycomb" OS became the first credible Android tablet, although it still paled next to the iPad. Then last fall came the Android-derived Kindle Fire, a 7-inch tablet from Amazon.com that was cheap and limited largely to Amazon offerings. It quickly became the dominant Android tablet, though many argue it's not an Android tablet at all.
Why the history lesson? Because the new, $250 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 model released on April 22 is Samsung's response to that lineage. The Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch and the $350 Galaxy Tab 2 10.1-inch model due in May show Samsung largely giving up on competing with the iPad, which represents more than 70% of tablets in use today -- and that percentage goes past 90 in business adoption. Instead, Samsung has redirected its energies against the Kindle Fire, which has done so-so by e-book reader standards but well by Android tablet standards.
[ Understand how to both manage and benefit from the consumerization-of-IT trend with InfoWorld's "Consumerization Digital Spotlight" PDF special report. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Consumerization of IT newsletter today, then join our #CoIT discussion group at LinkedIn. ]