updated 09:45 pm EDT, Fri September 10, 2010
Samsung Galaxy Tab to reach ATT, Sprint, Verizon
Samsung's Galaxy Tab will get an all-out launch next week for most major US carriers, tipsters claimed this evening. Three sources for the WSJ said the Korean company's known event in New York City on September 16 should see the Android tablet introduced for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. T-Mobile supposedly hadn't negotiated a deal.
The Verizon version was already known to exist. Sprint's version may be a clue as to the actual release date, since it should ship in November. It may be the most unique version as it could carry WiMAX-based 4G and have the bandwidth needed for video chat on cellular with the front-facing camera.
Pricing hasn't been confirmed yet, but Samsung product manager Hankil Yoon had previously gone on record as claiming it would be below $300, but only after carrier subsidies. No mention has been made so far of the tablet being available outside of a carrier, however, raising the possibility that the actual cost could be several hundred dollars more with a mandatory data plan. Apple's iPad is always available unlocked and has a Wi-Fi version that lowers the price for those that don't want 3G data.
The strategy would mimic that taken by Samsung earlier this summer for the Galaxy S launch in the country, where it unveiled versions for every participating American carrier all at once and promised launches that would start within weeks of each other. Early checks have proven it to be moderately successful after Samsung shipped one million of the Android phones in a month and a half, and Samsung may be banking on sheer volume through carriers to give the Galaxy Tab a competitive footing versus the iPad. That may not be possible if rumors 2.5 million iPads per month are true.
Electronics makers have been scrambling to offer an answer to the iPad after its unveiling in January caught some of them off-guard and its April release proved to exceed expectations. Samsung is one of the most conscious of this as it has already had to trade shots with Apple in Korea after the iPhone upset its seemingly secure grip on the country's smartphones. It's determined to avoid a repeat of this in tablets and should be the first large, international firm to have an Android tablet.