Don't rub your eyes, gang: You aren't suffering from a case of Groundhog Day-like déjà vu. Samsung actually just announced new tablets for 2014 -- yup, yet again.
This time, Sammy took the wraps off a new series of Galaxy Tab S devices that are set to arrive in stores next month. The tablets come in 8.4- and 10.5-in. sizes, and they actually look like pretty nice products.
There's just one problem: The new tablets sit within a dizzying and often-overlapping device lineup that's getting damn-near impossible for anyone other than Rain Man to navigate.
By my count, Samsung has now announced 11 different Android tablets since the start of 2014 (and it's entirely possible I'm forgetting a few). In the past five months alone, the company has launched the following devices:
• Galaxy Tab S 8.4
• Galaxy Tab S 10.5
• Galaxy Tab 4 7.0
• Galaxy Tab 4 8.0
• Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
• Galaxy Tab 4 Nook
• Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
• Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1
• Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2
• Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
• Galaxy Tab 3 Lite
And that's not all. Samsung also still sells another 11 Android tablets from the recent past:
• Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)
• Galaxy Tab 3 7.0
• Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
• Galaxy Tab 3 10.1
• Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Kids
• Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
• Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
• Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition
• Galaxy Note 8.0
• Galaxy Note 10.1
• Galaxy Tab 7.0
Got all that? Yeah -- me neither.
Here's the thing: Choice is beneficial only when it means something. Flooding consumers with a billion overlapping variations of the same basic concept does little more than cause confusion and dilute your brand.
Put another way, when faced with that menagerie of confusingly named and difficult to distinguish options, what's a typical consumer going to do? You guessed it: Buy an iPad.
Focus and restraint clearly aren't in Samsung's DNA, but even a little discretion would go a long way. Successful as they may be now, just imagine how much stronger the company's products -- not to mention its ongoing support of those products -- could be if it were to focus its efforts just a teensy bit and stop spreading itself so thin.
On second thought, maybe this is déjà vu after all.