Looking to beat rivals Verizon Wireless and Sprint to market, T-Mobile USA said it would be the first to bring the Samsung Galaxy Tab to market in the United States, offering the WiFi/3G device Nov. 10 for $399 with a two-year contract.
T-Mobile told eWEEK existing T-Mobile Tab buyers can choose among webConnect mobile broadband plans. WebConnect with 200MB starts at $24.99 per month, with the 5GB plan for $39.99 per month.
Over the course of a two-year contract, that stands to run T-Mobile customers $600 for the 200MB plan and up to $960 for the 5GB plan. Cost of device plus data plans is $1,000 for the 200MB plan and $1,360 for the 5GB plan.
New T-Mobile customers will pay more for Tab plans with webConnect: $29.99 per month for 200MB and $49.99 for 5GB of data consumption.
As a third option, users may leverage prepaid mobile broadband rate plans, starting at $10 per week for 100MB, $30 per month for 300MB or $50 a month for 1GB.
T-Mobile's upfront price point for the Tab, coming after a $50 mail-in rebate, matches that of rival Sprint.
Sprint said it would sell the Android 2.2-based Galaxy Tab Nov. 14 for $399 after a $50 rebate, with monthly data rate plans of 2GB with for $29.99 or 5GB for $59.99 per month.
After the initial $399 purchase, Tab on Sprint will cost consumers a minimum of $720 over the life of a 2GB contract, and as much as $1,440 over the life of a 5GB contract.
Verizon Wireless kicked off the Galaxy Tab announcements in the United States last week, announcing that it would sell the Tab for $599.99 sans contract Nov. 11.
The No. 1 wireless carrier will offer a $20 per month data plan for 1GB of data.
The pricing plans have analysts raining skepticism because they expected the Android tablets to cost less than Apple's iPad, which is $499 for WiFi-only model and $629 for the iPad/3G model.
The choices should give consumers some food for thought as they mull mobile electronics purchases for the holiday season.
The Galaxy Tab, based on Google's Android 2.2 operating system, sports a 7-inch touch screen, supports Adobe Flash and comes with front and back cameras to enable video calling. T-Mobile said it has integrated Qik Video Chat on the Galaxy Tab.
The iPad, which blazed the tablet trail in the United States and sold 4.19 million units in the fourth quarter, does not support Flash or have cameras.
The iPad's screen is 9.7 inches and iPad owners have 25,000 dedicated iPad apps of the 300,000 apps in Apple's App Store from which to choose.