Verizon Wireless is hacking the price of its Samsung Galaxy Tab by $100, offering the popular tablet for $499 and throwing in $60 worth of free movie rentals to boost sales in the new year.
Droid Life, which said the movie rentals will come via the integrated Blockbuster application Verizon includes on its or the Samsung Media Hub app, added that consumers who have purchased the Tab from Verizon stores in the last two weeks are entitled to a $100 refund.
Verizon Wireless Nov. 11 launched its Samsung Galaxy Tab for $599 without a contract, though Verizon customers can add an access plan for $20 a month for 1GB.
The price point surprised analysts, who thought the first vital rival to Apple's popular iPad should start at least at the iPad's entry-level price point.
Verizon's $599 Tab price point is $100 more than the entry-level iPad WiFi version and only $30 less than the starting WiFi + 3G version AT&T sells.
"I was surprised at the high price point as well," industry analyst Jack Gold told eWEEK. "I expected more aggressive pricing. 3G should only add $50 to $100 max to the cost of the device, so I don't think that is the primary cost motivator."
Samsung did manage to sell more than 1 million Tabs, but that's worldwide, including in the United States on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular, all of whom offer the gadget at different price points.
AT&T sells the Tab for $649.99, with 250MB of storage for $14.99 and 2GB for $25. Sprint and T-Mobile began selling the Tab for $399 with two-year contracts, though T-Mobile has since slashed the price to $349.
In any event, it's unclear when Verizon will go public with its price cut, as the price on its Website remains $599.
The cut could come this week as the world gears up for more Android tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show. Motorola is expected to unveil an Android 3.0 tablet, while ViewSonic will also have a new Android tablet.
eWEEK tested the Tab on Verizon's network and found it to be solid despite the 7-inch screen size that had us asking for more real estate to access applications.