Samsung Galaxy Tab to Cost $599.99 from Verizon, Starting Nov. 11
Apple CEO Steve Jobs may have called it correctly when he said Android-based
tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab would not be able to compete with Apple's
iPad on price.
Verizon Wireless and Samsung Mobile shocked the tablet-watching world on Oct. 20 by announcing that that they will sell the Galaxy Tab for $599.99, starting Nov. 11.
The device sports an integrated 3G radio for use when not in range of a WiFi network. No contract is required, though Verizon Wireless customers can add a monthly access plan for the Galaxy Tab for $20 a month for 1 GB.
Here's the problem: Android tablets were largely expected to undercut the iPad on price, but Verizon's Galaxy 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.
Also Verizon on Oct. 28 will sell the iPad for $629.99 with mobile WiFi.
Other characteristics of the device scream for a lower price point than the iPad. Specifically, the Galaxy Tab's screen is only 7 inches, compared with 9.7 inches for the iPad, and runs Android 2.2, which Google Android officials acknowledged was not optimized for tablets.
Galaxy Tab does have a couple of features the iPad lacks, namely front and back cameras for video calling and full support for Adobe Flash 10.1.
Still, these factors could amount to what could be a tough sell for the Galaxy Tab versus the iPad.
"I have a hard time imagining what those strategies are. Tablets with far less functionality are having a hard time matching us in price," Jobs said on the call.
This assessment may prove to be prescient after the holiday season. While
Apple's shipment of 4.19 million iPads for the fiscal fourth quarter
underwhelmed analysts, the company will command a rare pricing advantage
versus Verizon's pricier Galaxy Tab as it ramps up for the holiday season.
Certainly, the inclusion of Verizon's own V Cast Apps mobile application store, as well as V Cast Music, V Cast Song ID, VZ Navigator, Slacker Radio, Kindle for Android and Blockbuster On Demand won't push the Galaxy Tab over the top for users.
Apple's App Store sports more than 300,000 applications, 25,000 of which were designed specifically for the iPad.