Samsung: “the iPad is a glorified MID”

While Samsung’s skunkworks team is busy designing the company’s own slate-based tablet the Korean electronics colossus has described the iPad as a niche product with limited functionality.

Speaking at the Samsung Forum in Singapore the director of Samsung Australia’s IT division Philip Newton said the future of mobile computing lay with netbooks and Atom-powered slates which offered processing power and connectivity than the iPad.

“A lot of companies have played in the MID (mobile Internet device) market and done a very average job and the iPad which is a glorified MID just takes that to the next level.”

“The problems I see with the iPad are its processing power and (lack of) connectivity to a certain extent” Newton said.

“From my point of view the iPad is essentially an ebook reader with wireless connectivity but no inputs and outputs. I do feel that that slate-type platform has legs but I think the legs need to be far more powerful for example an Atom-based product which has far greater flexibility not to mention inputs and outputs. This has more potential than an iPad.”

Newton admitted that the iPad “has its niche” and would provide “an opportunity for the market to expand and accept different products that do different things”.

But netbooks and other devices built around a more standard platform of low-voltage Intel silicon and common IO ports “will be the future of mobile computing especially because of the processing power.”

“What I’d suggest is the difference between an iPad and an ebook is not massive and they all have their place but the larger scale will come from more connected products higher up the tree” Newton told APC.

“There is assuredly a good market for iPads but there is an even broader market for consumers who want an iPad format but also want more functionality more grunt more IO because while the ARM-based processor in the iPad is a great chip it’s not designed for crunching spreadsheets and all those other things that the traditional notebook does.”

“There will always be the crowd of people who will want their traditional clamshell notebook and they will continue to be the majority of the market for some time. But as we move forward bringing some of that functionality into a slate product is from our point of view a no-brainer.”

David Flynn attended the Samsung Forum 2010 in Singapore as a guest of Samsung.