Samsung Galaxy Tab Will Debut with U.S. Cellular

Samsung's Galaxy Tab will debut with U.S. Cellular, adding to the total number of carriers planning to carry the tablet PC and Apple iPad competitor.

Samsung's rollout of its Galaxy Tab tablet PC on multiple carriers continued Oct. 28, with the device now slated for availability with U.S. Cellular. That marks the latest in a series of rapid-fire announcements concerning the Galaxy Tab, which is considered one of the main competitors to the Apple iPad.

A spokesperson for Samsung claimed that pricing and availability would be forthcoming for the Galaxy Tab with U.S. Cellular. Additional details, however, remained in short supply.

The U.S. Cellular deal follows on the heels of T-Mobile's Oct. 27 announcement that it will market the Galaxy Tab in the United States Nov. 10 for $399 with a two-year data plan. That timetable narrowly beats Verizon Wireless and Sprint to store shelves. Sprint plans to offer its Galaxy Tab starting Nov. 14, also for $399 with a $50 rebate and two-year data plan, while Verizon will sell the tablet Nov. 11 for $599 without a contract.

Verizon's choice to offer an "a la carte" data plan, where customers can choose on a monthly basis whether to pay $20 for 1GB of data, brings its version of the Galaxy Tab more in line with the iPad, whose data-plans with AT&T and Verizon work on a similar model.

Sprint plans on charging either $29.99 per month for 2GB worth of data or $59.99 for 5GB. Multiply that by 24 months, add $399 for the tablet itself, and you're looking at a total cost between $720 and $1,440.

T-Mobile offers its existing customers two webConnect mobile broadband plans: $24.99 per month for 200MB of data, and $39.99 per month for 5GB. Added to the cost of the device, over a two-year span, that means the carrier's Galaxy Tab will cost those users either $1,000 for the 200MB plan or $1,360 for the 5GB plan.

New T-Mobile customers will pay a little more: $29.99 per month for 200MB and $49.99 for 5GB. That raises the bottom-line price of the Tab accordingly. As an alternative, T-Mobile users can also select prepaid mobile broadband rate plans, to the tune of $10 per week for 100MB, $30 per month for 300MB or $50 a month for 1GB.

Samsung first unveiled the Galaxy Tab for American audiences Sept. 17, with a high-profile event at New York City's Time Warner Center. The 7-inch device includes several features that the manufacturer hopes will attract potential buyers, including video conferencing, 3G connectivity, support for Adobe Flash, and access to Samsung's Media Hub. It runs on Android 2.2.

However, Samsung faces a fierce competitor in the Apple iPad, which shipped 4.19 million units for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter. Although that number came in below analysts' expectations, it also represented a significant rise from the 3.27 million sold during the previous quarter.