Samsung on Saturday quickly but only partially backtracked from executive comments that raised the possibility of a last-minute Galaxy Tab 10.1 change to counter the iPad 2. The Android 3.0 tablet would ship "as scheduled" instead of the delays alluded to, though not confirmed, by mobile executive VP Lee Don-joo. He wouldn't say to Yonhap when the actual release would take place.
The company didn't rule out the price cuts mentioned by Lee. He had told the Korean publication on Friday that it was originally going to charge extra over the seven-inch Galaxy Tab but had second thoughts when the iPad 2 was unveiled at the same $499 price but with roughly the same performance as the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Lee had seemingly validated Apple CEO Steve Jobs' arguments that many device makers wanted it to be the "year of the copycats" with observations that Samsung would correct the parts of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that were "inadequate," sparking the delay rumors. He had singled out the dimensions as the weak point. Samsung had hoped to outdo the original iPad with a 10.9mm thick design but had been beaten by an 8.8mm iPad 2 with just as much speed and, it was presumed, battery life.
Fundamental changes to the ergonomic design of a device are rare just a few months or possibly weeks before it ships and weren't expected. Lee's statements and the follow-up comment don't rule out the company reacting to Apple with a sequel, though this might not show until 2012.