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We’re thinking Samsung might want to get rid of the wrong tablet


Last updated: July 1st, 2024 at 16:18 UTC+02:00

A rumor earlier today introduced the notion that Samsung might trim its flagship tablet lineup once it releases the Galaxy Tab S10 series. The rumor suggests that Samsung may get rid of the base model and release only the Plus and Ultra variants. If true, we're wondering if the 11-inch base model might be the wrong one to leave behind.

Samsung's current flagship tablet lineup consists of the base Galaxy Tab S9 (11-inch), the Galaxy Tab S9+ (12.4-inch), and the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra (14.6-inch). Up until now, it was believed that the upcoming Galaxy Tab S10 series would follow the same pattern.

The base Galaxy Tab S9 is Samsung's only mid-sized 11-inch tablet with high-end specifications, and it competes directly with Apple's 11-inch iPad models. And in our eyes, leaving it behind could be a mistake.

Getting rid of the base Galaxy Tab S10 means the next-best ~11-inch tablet in Samsung's portfolio would be the Galaxy Tab S9 FE (10.9-inch) or its potential sequel. The ongoing Fan Edition tablet is far from an iPad competitor, given its middling Exynos 1380 chip.

With that in mind, perhaps Samsung might be better off discontinuing the Plus or Ultra variant. Whichever would remain in the lineup should be large enough to compete with the 13-inch iPad Pro, and the standard version could continue existing as an 11-inch alternative to the 11-inch iPad.

Are 11-inch high-end tablets not as popular as we think?

Although we're supporting the base Galaxy Tab S10, we can't help but do so reluctantly. Simply put, we don't have enough information to go by. Even though we often get shipment data for individual Galaxy smartphone models per quarter, official Galaxy tablet shipment data is scarce at best.

The most we know is that Samsung is the 2nd largest tablet manufacturer after Apple. But as far as determining which Galaxy Tab S9 variant is the company's best-seller, that's another matter. Nevertheless, most people usually and rightfully assume that the cheaper Samsung high-end tablets post more quarterly shipments and that devices like the Tab S9 Ultra are niche.

We can only assume that Samsung knows best, which means if the company is indeed considering skipping the 11-inch Galaxy Tab S10, then perhaps 11-inch high-end tablets might not be as popular as we think.

On the other hand, it's hard to believe Ultra variants are selling better than the base or Plus models, but then again, sales figures might not be the be-all and end-all. There might be other reasons why Samsung isn't willing to get rid of the Ultra variant even if it needs to trim its high-end tablet series.

The recent rumor suggests that Samsung may want to adjust its flagship tablet series as a result to Apple recently launching its first OLED iPad Pro. And since AMOLED is no longer Samsung's unique selling point for tablets, focusing on bigger screens might be one way for the Korean tech giant to compete.

Whatever the case may be, it's not hard to imagine Samsung not wanting to be seen like it's backpedaling only two years into the Ultra series. Furthermore, even if we assume Ultra tablets don't sell incredibly well, they are impressive and eye-catching even for people who don't use tablets — Galaxy Tab, iPad, or otherwise. Ultra tablets lend power to the Samsung brand.

Ditching the Galaxy Tab Ultra now could have the opposite effect and might seem like Samsung is downgrading the entire series. Not to mention, the Ultra is Samsung's direct response to Apple's attempts to turn the iPad Pro into a laptop replacement, and Samsung might not want to seem like it's throwing in the towel in that particular arena.

Better Galaxy Tab FE to the rescue?

All in all, it is possible that Samsung may want to get rid of the wrong tablet for all the wrong reasons.

If the rumor is correct, we can only hope Samsung has a backup plan for the high-end 11-inch tablet market. The only way we think Samsung could really fill that gap would be to elevate the Fan Edition series to a higher level and equip it with better hardware.

Story continues after the video…

We have wished for a long time that Samsung to do this and treat its Fan Edition tablets like its FE phones. FE tablets still leave a lot to be desired and could use some much-needed hardware upgrades. So, maybe replacing the base Galaxy Tab S10 with a cheaper but powerful enough 11-inch FE tablet is the best possible outcome for all. We can only hope and speculate, as nothing of the sort has been rumored or confirmed thus far.

With that in mind, before we get carried away by our imagination, let us remember that rumors are just that, so we will have to wait and see what Samsung is planning for the Galaxy Tab S10 series. Perhaps the company will maintain course and follow its usual three-pronged high-end tablet strategy as before.

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