Samsung Reveals ‘Galaxy Tab’ Launch Details

An Amazon listing for Samsung’s new touch-screen, tablet-style computer, the Galaxy Tab, shows the device has a recommended retail price of almost £800

Just in time for the holiday season, Samsung is launching its tablet device, the Samsung Tab, on all four major U.S. wireless carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Photo: Samsung Mobile

Just in time for the holiday season, Samsung is launching its tablet device, еhe Samsung P1000, also known as the Galaxy Tab, on all four major U.S. wireless carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

The Samsung P1000 has a recommended retail price of £799.99 in UK, according to Amazon. However, for US Samsung didn’t announce any pricing details today; prices for the Tab will depend on carriers, both in terms of retail price and data plan pricing.

Samsung is clearly making a strong bid for your holiday shopping dollars; this is one iPad competitor that is prepared do some serious business in the consumer electronics market.

One online retailer in UK is offering 15 per cent off, bringing the price down to £679.99, and says the Tab will be dispatched “within one to two months”.

If the price listing is correct, it would mean that the Galaxy Tab would cost significantly more than its key rival, the iPad. Prices for Apple’s device start from £429 in UK.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab striptease continued with a media event on Thursday evening, revealing a few more details about the tablet's U.S. launch. Photo: Samsung Mobile

One crucial differentiator between the iPad and Samsung’s device is that the Tab will play Adobe Flash content. Apple has famously jettisoned Flash in favour of rival standard HTML5, but it renders many web pages unreadable on Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Verizon Wireless said in a statement that it will start selling it “in the coming weeks,” and Sprint said it will do so “this fall.” T-Mobile and AT&T said they plan to sell it this holiday season.

Samsung is yet to make an official announcement about the price of the Tab, but it is hoped that some mobile network operators will choose to subsidise the cost of the 3G-enabled Tab in return for consumers taking out mobile data packages for the device.

The Galaxy Tab has a 7-inch screen, half the size of the iPad. It runs Google Inc.’s Android smart phone software, Android 2.2 (a.k.a. Froyo), contains a Cortex A8 1 GHz processor and 16GB of onboard memory, and will weight about half as much as an iPad.

"The Galaxy Tab will redefine the tablet market," said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung’s telecoms division in the US. "We expect to be a major player in this market." Photo: Samsung Mobile

Its battery will allow for up to seven hours of continuous video playback. It will also come with a car dock for large-screen GPS navigation and more.

The Tab is optimized for on-the-go entertainment. Since Android and Adobe have been quite cozy with one another, Flash content, including video and interactive games, will run beautifully on the Tab.

The Tab will have a 3-megapixel, rear-facing camera with a flash HD-quality video captures. The device also has a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front for video chat, which we saw demonstrated tonight with the Qik Android app.

As far as integrated software, the Tab will have such features as Social Hub, Daily Briefing (for news, calendar, stock quotes and the like) and Media Hub, a new service. Software will be slightly customized depending on which carrier is being used.

Media Hub will allow for on-demand movie and TV rental and purchase for instant playback. It’s one of the more exciting aspects of the device. Pricing will be competitive with other similar offerings.

The Galaxy Tab has a 7in screen and runs Froyo, the most recent version of Google’s Android operating system. It has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity built in, and features two cameras, a three-megapixel lens on the back and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front for making video calls. Photo: Samsung Mobile

Purchased content will be available on multiple registered devices; in other words, you can download the same content on any device you own that works with Media Hub. We’re thinking this will include all Galaxy S devices.

As far as licensing is concerned, Samsung is collaborating with an impressive stable of entertainment properties, including MTV, NBC, Warner and others. Media Hub content will be at the level consumers have come to expect from high-quality digital media.

The Tab will have the ability to run on cellular broadband networks, just like some versions of the iPad. It won’t have a dialpad or the ability to make traditional cell phone calls, but could be used for phone calls over the data connection with third-party software.

One of US largest carriers, AT&T, already sells a somewhat smaller hybrid of a tablet and a smart phone, the Dell Streak. It costs $300 with a two-year contract.

“The Galaxy Tab will redefine the tablet market,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung’s telecoms division in the US. “We expect to be a major player in this market.” [via PC World, Mashable and Telegraph (UK)]

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