Samsung Galaxy Tab Beating Motorola Android Tablet to Market

Samsung will beat Motorola to the Android-based tablet computer market with the Galaxy Tab this holiday season. But analysts note Android 2.2 isn't optimized for tablets and wonder whether it will be competitive with Apple's iPad.

When Samsung introduced its 7-inch Galaxy Tab at a media event in New York City, it offered plenty of product specifics but left availability and pricing to the four U.S. wireless carriers that will offer the device.

The four major U.S. wireless device carriers-Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile-all said they plan to sell the tablet this holiday season.

Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha said this week his company won't deliver a tablet until early 2011. This means that Samsung is beating Motorola to the Android tablet market.

Samsung, which lags well behind Motorola in sales of Android -based smartphones, will have the benefit of a full holiday-selling cycle to give it a leg up over its U.S.-based competition.

Jha hinted Motorola requires the extra time to make a tablet that is competitive with Apple's iPad. The suggestion may have been an implication that Jha believes Samsung's Galaxy Tab isn't ready to compete with the market-leading tablet.

One major reason for this may be that the Galaxy Tab will run Android 2.2, the flavor of the OS currently powering many popular smartphones. Google said itself Android 2.2 is not optimized for tablets. Archos is also offering several tablets based on Android 2.2 this month and next.

All indications are that Motorola is building a tablet based on Android 3.0, code-named Gingerbread, which is specially designed to accommodate applications for the larger screen resolution a tablet affords.

Regardless of what Jha meant or didn't mean, Galaxy Tab will have the benefit of 2010 holiday sales Motorola won't have. How consumers cotton to the Samsung gadget is anyone's guess. Analysts offered eWEEK different opinions on the issue.