Samsung and Verizon Wireless have announced the availability of two new devices, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Januaryand, arguably a few rungs down the ladder, the Samsung Brightside, a feature phone with a dedicated slide-out keyboard.
The new Long-Term Evolution- (LTE-) enabled Galaxy Tab runs Android 3.2, Google's tablet-friendly version, known as Honeycomb. Its 7.7-inch display is a Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) Plus with a resolution of 1,280 by 800. It has a 3.2-megapixel camera, with LED flash, on the back, and a 2-megapixel camera on the front for video calls. It has 16GB of storage on board and supports a 32GB microSD card.
More to the meat of things, Samsung has also billed it as a "multimedia expert" that can be at the center of a home entertainment systemable to replace a coffee-table's worth of unsightly remotes and compatible with a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Multimedia Dock.
Just as the Apple iPad has snuggly found a place in the enterprise, so too is Samsung's tablet working its way in. The Tab 7.7 is Samsung Approved for Enterprise- (SAFE-) certified, which means it comes with a suite of security features and enterprise-friendly capabilities, such as mobile-device management, on-device encryption, virtual private network (VPN) and push synchronization with corporate apps such as email, calendar and contacts.
It can also act as a mobile hotspot, letting up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices hop on Verizon's 4G LTE network.
The Samsung is simpler fare. There's a 3.1-inch touch-screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3G connectivity, a suite of messaging optionstext, picture, voiceand one-touch access to the mobile Web, email, pictures, apps and social networks.
There's a 3.2-megapixel camera with a handful of features, a documents viewer for looking at, though not editing, Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, as well as Adobe PDFs and ASCII and HTML documents.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 will go on sale March 1 for $500 with a new two-year contract. Users will need to subscribe to an LTE data page, which starts at $30 a month for 2GB.
The Samsung Brightside, also arriving March 1, will be priced at $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Samsung has, of course, by far, been the most successful at carving into markets and market share that Apple established. In 2011 it posted 278 percent year-over-year growth, making it the No. 1-shipping global smartphone brand, according to IHS iSuppli.
Samsung's success, said IHS analyst Wayne Lam, came thanks to its widely varied product line and strategy of "offering a complete line of smartphone products, spanning a variety of price points, features and operating systems," which even enabled it to scoot past faltering longtime market leader Nokia.
Earlier this year, Samsung also introduced the Galaxy Note, reviving interest in the abandoned 5-inch tablet form factor space. The half-phone, half-tabletor "phablet"was alone in the space for a handful of days before competitor LG Electronics released a video of its own upcoming phablet, the LG Optimus Vu.
With its quickly expanding Optimus linesoon afterward came the intro of the LG Optimus 4X HDLG appears to be following the successful example that Samsung has set with its Galaxy devices.