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Virgin Australia CEO: Samsung Galaxy Tab is better than iPad

By John Walton     Filed under: inflight entertainment, Android, in-flight entertainment, Samsung, in-flight wi-fi, in-flight wifi, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Virgin Australia, Samsung Galaxy Tab

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.

The Galaxy Tab, which Apple attempted to ban from being sold in Australia, will be the centrepiece of Virgin's own in-flight system starting April.

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."

Of course, the fact that Apple is in bed with the competition -- both Jetstar's iPad rentals and Qantas' Q streaming trial -- didn't hurt Samsung's chances:

"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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 24/2/12 by Bradsta

"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."

Anyone else not buying a word of it?

1 on 24/2/12 by Noob

Actually, the galaxy tab is the same product virgin America is using for their new board connect - it makes sense for them to have a consistent product.

2 on 25/4/12 by Chris

I don't buy it either - and personally believe Qantas made the right call choosing iPad. 

2 on 24/2/12 by New Mint

Does this include the A330's as well? I'm assuming so! Am looking forward to trying Virgin Biz and this will be an added bonus :)

3 on 24/2/12 by AusFlyer

Does it matter? They are both good products and will make a difference to inflight entertainment. Anyway.. most regular travellers and business travellers will have their own so it is more important to introduce the ability to stream to personal devices.


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