Monday, 29 August 2011 14:39

A short bablet about Samsung's unavailable Galactic tablet


Samsung's lawyers sing the Galaxy Tab 10.1's praises, but Australian judges are nowhere near giving the tablet the all-clear to start actually selling.

Oh ye, Samsung Tablet, wherefore art thou? Stuck in legal limbo, the nimble wonder is said to be the best Android tablet yet, but it remains as unavailable at retail as do unicorns.

Sure, there are some shops that specialise in the importation of gadgets, gizmos and other technologies sold overseas where you'll find the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on sale, thanks to the freedoms of parallel importing.

But until Australia's legal system sorts out the stoush between Apple and Samsung, the Galaxy Tab is but a splinter in the mind's eye, an object that has yet to gain the kind of public desire that usually happens when something is 'banned'.

There'll be no Galaxy Tabs on sale before September 30 either, if the latest comments from the judicial system are anything to go by, taking any Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch ever closer to that all-important end-of-year shopping sales season.

Logistics and dire economic circumstances dictate what will be one of the biggest pushes ever by businesses to get consumers to part with their cash, and unless Samsung gets a clear run to get its products on store shelves in sufficient quantity, logistics and dire economic circumstances might do more to stop a successful Galaxy Tab launch than judges could ever hope to achieve.

It's a shame that all the companies in question have had to go down legal routes to protect their products and sales, rather than letting the consumer decide which tablet is best, but until patent laws are overturned, if ever, the law is the law and everyone has to abide by it.

Or, everyone needs really good lawyers to help abide to only those laws they can get away with abiding, and ignore those they can afford to - or win the right to - ignore.

Sadly for Samsung, it has not been able to stop the legal lunacy and thus it is paying the ultimate price: being unable to sell what is arguably the best Android tablet on the market in Australia - and now Europe.

As discussed in an earlier article
, if these interminable delays continue, it might be worth ditching the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its current form, and focusing on getting an infringement-free Galaxy Tab powered with Android OS 4.0 to market instead.

Barring that, it would be very handy for Samsung to publicly state the timeframe in which it expects the Galaxy Tab to get that Android 4.0 update, so consumers can think about buying one without worrying whether Android 4.0 will be installable, or not.

After all, there's only a few months to go before the iPad 3 and the next-gen of Android tablets appears. Why spend hundreds now if brand-new and presumably nicely improved models are on the way - or if Android tablet prices are set to see some serious reductions by year's end?

There's more legal battles to come, especially if Samsung hopes its Tab goes on sale by September's end, so whatever happens, we haven't yet heard the end of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, with plenty more long and short bablets about all manner of tablets between now and then.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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