Feedback from customers who have bought Samsung Electronics’ Q1 device suggests that a pre-launch teaser campaign by Microsoft might have backfired, a Samsung executive said Monday.
The Q1 went on sale in the United States in May and is based on Microsoft’s Origami platform. Microsoft collaborated with Intel to create Origami, which combines a tablet edition of Windows XP with a pen-based tablet computer similar in specification to a laptop computer.
“Feedback has been quite mixed,” said David Steel, vice president of marketing for Samsung’s digital media business, in a briefing with reporters at the company’s headquarters in Suwon, south of Seoul.
A positive or negative response is generally related to how much of the pre-launch Origami hype the person had been exposed to, Steel said.
Over a period of several weeks prior to the platform’s March launch at the Cebit trade show, Microsoft ran a teaser campaign in which it slowly disclosed Origami details. With few specific details released, expectations were quickly raised among IT professionals, bloggers and journalists about what Origami would be. At the same time, a price tag of between US$500 and $1,000 for the devices became known.
Samsung’s device debuted in May for $1,099.
Consumers who have encountered the Q1 with no prior knowledge are generally positive about the device, while those who read a lot about the Origami platform prior to seeing the Q1 have been more negative, he said.
“Particularly from someone [with prior] understanding of Origami, [they have been] saying, ’We expected this and expected that’ and comparing specification and price with laptop computers,” said Steel. But even though a laptop can deliver more, it comes at a price, Steel noted.
Any such comparison usually ends with the conclusion that a laptop can deliver more for an extra $1,000.
Samsung is looking ahead to a second-generation ultra-mobile PC. In preparation, the company is examining the user interface and how people interact with the device. The Q1 can be used with a keyboard, pen or via its touch screen.
“It was always going to be a first test for us,” Steel said. “We think it’s a new market; we don’t know how big—probably not huge compared to the PC market.”
— Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)
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