While Qantas has opted for Apple's iPad as the testbed for its tablet-based Q Streaming in-flight entertainment system, Virgin Australia is putting its money on the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.
Australian Business Traveller caught up with Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti and posed the same question which everyone else is wondering: why the Galaxy Tab instead of the iPad?
After all, Apple's iPad is seen in lounges and on planes far more often than any competiting tablet, including Samsung and others in the Android camp.
Borghetti is clear about why Virgin Australia picked the Galaxy Tab: "The Samsung tablet is being recognised as a better product than Apple" he says. "That's not unusual, second-generation stuff usually is. In fact, it's getting better reviews than the iPad 2."
"The screen itself is better, and the [Android-based] system is a plus," Borghetti adds, pointing to the device's 10.1-inch display as another plus. "It's (also) much thinner, as you know, and overall it's a better product."
"Now, the fact that Apple has got some some kind of agreement with Jetstar, that's there as well." Borghetti admits wryly. "But even if both were free, I'd still pick Samsung."
Borghetti confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the tablets will initially be preloaded with content while the airline installs the Lufthansa BoardConnect wireless streaming system onto its planes.
And although the mix of what you'll be able to tap your way into watching hasn't been finalised, Borghetti told us "you don't have to be a rocket scientist" to figure out what will be preloaded: movies, TV, current affairs shows, books and magazines.
Once the BoardConnect system is up and running, you'll be able to pick a much wider range of entertainment, and you'll be able to watch it on your own Android or iPad tablet or smartphone, as well as Windows and Mac laptops.
In choosing Android over Apple's iOS it seems that Virgin Australia is in good company -- as Australian Business Traveller reported last year, Boeing says that Android-powered touchscreens and in-flight entertainment systems will be the standard for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.