Virgin Australia has decided to go with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to provide in-flight entertainment for passengers instead of the iPad. The system, which starts to roll out in April, will have the Tabs pre-loaded with movies, television and audio programs, and full in-flight streaming via Lufthansa BoardConnect wireless is slated to be up and running by the end of 2012. Once the Lufthansa system is in place, passengers will be able to choose from a wide range of entertainment to stream to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, as well as their own tablets or Windows and Mac computers. The tablets themselves will be included in the price of a business class ticket for travelers on the companies 737 and E-190 planes, and will be offered as a rental option for coach passengers on flights that take over three hours.
When the folks at Australian Business Traveller asked Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti why the company decided to use the Galaxy Tab instead of the more popular Apple product, he had the following to say:
The Samsung tablet is being recognised as a better product than Apple. 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. It's (also) much thinner, as you know, and overall it's a better product.
We're not going to argue. Neither is Boeing, who has decided that all of their 787 Dreamliners will use a Panasonic manufactured Android tablet for in-flight entertainment. Certainly the fact that vendors can fully customize an Android product has played a role here, and this is something we should start getting used to seeing. All we can really say is that we know you have a choice when you fly, and we appreciate you choosing Android.