On Thursday, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Tab – its long-awaited, Android-powered tablet computer – will be available via four wireless carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. That gives the Samsung Galaxy Tab a huge leg-up over the Apple iPad, which is only available via AT&T. Not that the Galaxy Tab needed it.
From top to bottom, this is a high-powered machine. According to Samsung, the Galaxy Tab will feature a 7-inch display, front- and rear-facing cameras, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, Flash 10.1 support, the "Media Hub" content platform, and Android 2.2, the latest iteration of Google's Android operating system. So far, so good.
Well, not so fast. Samsung has not yet said when exactly the Tab will be released, nor how much it will cost, and yesterday, several bloggers began linking to Amazon UK, where a 16GB Galaxy Tab was selling for the equivalent of $1067. The news quickly zipped around the Web, leaving panic in its wake: a $1,000 price-tag would put the machine out of reach of many consumers.
But will the Samsung Galaxy Tab really set you back more than a grand when it hits shelves in the US? Maybe. Or maybe not. Several bloggers have pointed to a September Wall Street Journal interview with Samsung exec Hankil Yoon, who said that the Galaxy Tab "would likely retail for between $200 and $300, although the final price would vary depending on wireless-carrier subsidies."
The tablet wars have been heating up in recent months. Earlier this summer, the blog Download Squad reported that HTC is busy readying a tablet that would run Chrome OS, Google's forthcoming open-source operating system. According to Download Squad, the Chrome tablet would sport a 1280x720 multitouch display, GPS, and a webcam.
And then there's the Streak, an ungainly hybrid – or tweener – rolled out by Dell in August. Dell said that the 5-inch touchscreen on the streak is "ideal for experiencing thousands of Android Market widgets, games and applications, all without squinting or compromising portability." But critics – including no less than tech guru Walt Mossberg have been hard pressed to agree.