Now, this all based on one German online retailer (where imports of the Tab 10.1 were banned), but it's very interesting nonetheless. It appears that a new version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been launched in Germany, called the Tab 10.1N. The difference? So far, all we see is a re-designed bezel and the fact that it's now shipping with Android 3.2. Take a look at this comparison shot from Mobiflip:



The Tab 10.1N is above, and the old Tab 10.1 is below. And below that is an iPad 2. If you look at the bezel design, the Tab 10.1 originale has a bezel more similar to the iPad 2 - a very minimal metal frame along the edges. This is one of the design issues which led a German court to ban the import of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (it's not a design patent, per se, in Europe they call it a "Community Design Right", which is a similar IP right).

Samsung's solution? Make the metal border around the bezel bigger, and incorporate the speakers into it to make it look distinct. Whether this will avoid all the legal issues Samsung has had with the device around the world, we can't say - but Apple has made a big stink about the fact that the Galaxy Tab looks very similar to the iPad when looked at face-down in the portrait orientation, so this was clearly one of Cupertino's beefs with Samsung's product.

Will this new Tab come to the U.S.? Apple has yet to receive any injunction against the Tab 10.1 here in the States, and its biggest case (currently going on in the Northern District of California) has yet to render a decision on a preliminary injunction on a similar claim (though on a significantly narrower design patent). So, at this point, it's anyone's guess as to whether we'll see this new (and improved?) Tab stateside.

Samsung has not provided any confirmation of the re-design or the reasoning behind it.

Mobiflip via FOSSPatents

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Brendon

    Are those speakers??
    if so that is awesome, all tablet makers should make the speakers pointed at the user

    • http://trueacu.com acupunc

      yeah, I like the speakers that way a lot more as well. That's one thing I like about the BB PlayBook--at first you think you will cover them with your hand but you really never do.

      Personally, I like the design changes. And after using a TouchPad that had the plastic crack around the speakers I much prefer the metal wrapped around the device--may also increase ease of holding by having something not so slick on the front.

    • mike I

      my Archos 70 also has front facing speakers. I wish more tablet makers would do it, why would I want speaker pointed away from me.

  • monoik

    I like the new one better!

  • http://www.mycellife.net Bradley

    In the first place the whole similar design confusion is ridiculous. The iPad is sold as portrait orientated device and the Tab in landscape. They are positioned differently on shelves and also Samsung can be clearly seen on the front of their tablet. Apple is acting like a big cry baby because they realize that the Tab 10.1 is a hot device, and consumers might consider it before picking up an iPad

    • kissmyassapple

      thats apple for you, but if you dont quiet up, they'll nuke your house.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    Why can't Samsung just get rid of that round rectangular shape? Friends of mine (non-tech savvy) had complained to me that they want something that while they wanted a Samsung, they also wanted something to look distinguishably different from the iWhatever.

  • Yuriy

    Looks great!! I want it.

  • caliber

    FYI, you've got your sources linked backwards.

  • Matt

    Curse Apple and their patents on rectangles!

    Doesn't the word "Samsung" and lack of the Apple button distinguish it enough from an iPad?

    • kissmyassapple

      for real, thats why they're called sheeps, they graze like the mindless. lol

  • jdm4u

    hah at first, looking at the pics, I thought they decied to curve the tablet, similar to the nexus S and galaxy nexus.

  • Frank

    Companies shouldn't be able to patent such a general characterization. Rectangular with icons--oh no! That's patented. Such bullshit.

  • kissmyassapple

    Shit, that looks soooo much cleaner that the og 10.1 and a hell of a lot nicer than the crappad

  • http://Camsvirtualrealityreality.blogspot.com Vectrex

    Imagine if tv manufacturers had to deal with this. "your tv looks like mine!" No kidding, because now we have the technology, people only want as much screen as possible on tvs, tablets and phones.

  • lucky

    Apple has the money to complain...a lot. Squeaky wheel and all that mess.

  • Tyler C

    Apple really hates knowing how easy it is for other companies to best their products.

  • http://www.ictmanazer.cz Albert

    Graat idea, good work Samsung!