Samsung (SSNLF) and Apple (AAPL) are battling for tablet supremacy, as the major consumer electronics companies try to one up each other for mind share and wallet share. After yesterday's unveiling, it's Samsung who has the upper hand.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Samsung showed off 4 new tablets, which are designed to be used by business professionals, the Galaxy Tab Pro, and the Note Pro. These tablets were designed in mind to allow the enterprise to do more with tablets, as opposed to just consuming content, which has been part of the drawback about them since Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, reinvigorating the space.
Samsung is feeling the heat from Apple, which seemed to dedicate its most recent quarter, the company's fiscal first-quarter, towards tablets. On Apple's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook said he thought it would be an "iPad Christmas" this holiday season.
Judging from Samsung's most recent quarterly earnings report, in which the company reported provisional operating income of 8.1 trillion to 8.5 trillion won, it's clear that Apple is taking some market share back from Samsung, be it with the iPhone or iPad.
The Galaxy Tab Pro tablet will come in three sizes (8.4-inch, 10.1-inch and 12.2-inch), but the Note Pro only has a 12.2-inch screen. All of these tablets will be available sometime in the first quarter of this year, but Samsung didn't specify pricing or exact availability dates.
South Korean-based Samsung really made sure to note that these new tablets are dedicated towards business users, announcing several new features. The Pro devices are optimized for Cisco WebEx, and allow up to 20 devices to be synced all at once, enabling an e-meeting to take place.
In recent weeks, the ever-churning rumor mill has said that Apple is working on its larger iPad, of which some have dubbed the iPad Pro. It is thought that this iPad would be around 12-inches in size, and could be the way to merge the iPad, which Apple sold 14.1 million units last quarter, and the Mac, of which Apple sold 4.6 million units last quarter as well.
I've long speculated that Apple is trying to merge its mobile operating system, iOS, with its desktop operating system, OS X Maverick, and the "iPad Pro" seems as if it's the device to finally introduce that. Apple has brought some features from iOS to OS X, including Maps, Calendar, Notes and others, so it seems like this is starting to happen.
With Samsung introducing new tablets geared towards the business professional (along with several new televisions and smart appliances), it's clear Samsung is feeling the heat from Apple. I suspect though, that Apple will have the last laugh on this, as it almost always does.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.