Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, launched on T-Mobile Nov. 10, is retailing for $399 with a two-year plan. The carrier beat rivals Verizon and Sprint to market by a matter of days.
T-Mobile’s Website also offers the device contract-free for $599.
Samsung first unveiled the Galaxy Tab for American audiences Sept. 17 at an event at New York City’s Time Warner Center. The manufacturer hopes that the combination of multiple carriers, Android 2.2 operating system with support for Adobe Flash, and 7-inch form-factor will attract users who might otherwise gravitate towards Apple’s iPad, which currently controls the lion’s share of the consumer-tablet space.
The iPad currently holds 95.5 percent of the worldwide market for tablets, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Android-based tablets hold 2.9 percent of that market, although the majority of those devices are either in development or just beginning to arrive on store shelves.
“We expect Android’s share to rise in the fourth quarter as more models…enter the market,” states a Nov. 2 report from Strategy Analytics. While Samsung, Dell and a variety of smaller manufacturers plan Android tablets, others-notably Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion-are prepping devices based off proprietary operating systems.
The Galaxy Tab will appear on U.S. Cellular and AT&T, in addition to T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. Data plans vary among the carriers, ranging from Verizon’s monthly “pay as you go” to the other carriers’ two-year contracts.
Samsung predicts it will sell more than one million Galaxy Tabs by the end of 2010, and may expand its tablet offerings in coming quarters. “Various tablet sizes will be launched by many companies next year. In order to cement our strong presence in the tablet market, Samsung is preparing other kinds of tablet devices,” J.K. Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, reportedly told an audience during a Nov. 4 press conference in Seoul.
Samsung’s plans in that area could include a 10.1-inch version of the Galaxy Tab, at least if rumors emerging from China’s FPD International Green Device 2010 trade show are on target. A number of news outlets, including Wired, report seeing a 10.1-inch LCD panel screen displayed by Samsung at the event, which could-at least theoretically-find its way into a new version of the Tab.
In a bid to increase its tablet’s relevance against the iPad, Samsung is also offering Galaxy features such as a Media Hub for downloading movies and TV shows.