Get ready, iPad. According to news reports, Samsung will launch its highly anticipated Galaxy Tab tablet computer in November through Sprint Nextel. The Android-based seven-inch device, announced last month, is expected to cost less than the iPad and be sold through Sprint and the other three major carriers -- AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless.
The reported price -- $399 with a two-year contract and $599 without -- compares favorably with Apple's groundbreaking device, which starts at $499. The Sprint price also compares favorably with other announced prices, including Amazon UK's $1,067.
First Major iPad Competitor?
The Tab could be the first major competitor to the iPad. The new device starts with a variety of competitive advantages as it tries to get a foothold in the category that the iPad has defined. In the U.S., there will be four carriers to choose from, as opposed to the single choice of AT&T for the iPad. The Tab also offers mobile video and has high-definition video at 1080p, compared to the iPad's 720p.
This is the first tablet from the electronics giant, and Samsung said the device's name is intended to invoke the characteristics it shares with the company's Galaxy S smartphone line launched in the summer.
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Gannett USA, and other major publishers are reportedly preparing applications for the Tab, a sign that the device could catch on. Various publishers have also developed apps specifically for the iPad, which has helped propel its acceptance as an e-reader. Samsung has said the international version of the tablet will have a built-in e-reading hub with apps for collecting content for mobile devices, including specific ones for e-books, magazines and newspapers.
Social Hub, Media Hub
The new tablet has a TFT seven-inch screen with 1024x600 SVGA resolution, 3G/Wi-Fi, a one-gigahertz Hummingbird application processor that supports 3-D graphics, a 1.3-megapixel camera on front for video chatting, and a three-megapixel camera on the back for picture taking. It supports Android 2.2; Flash Player 10.1; video chat clients Qik and Fring; Google apps such as Maps, the beta Maps Navigation, and the visual search tool Goggles; and Samsung's Social Hub app.
There's also the new Samsung Media Hub content service, which offers movies and TV shows. A built-in speakerphone and Bluetooth for a headset allow the device to provide that quaint feature carriers used to specialize in -- voice.
The e-mail, calendar and contacts apps rotate with the tablet orientation, an accelerator-based feature that is becoming increasingly common on mobile devices. The Tab runs the more than 80,000 apps now in the Android Market, and apps not designed for this size screen -- the vast majority, currently -- are framed and centered when opened on the Tab.