Galaxy Tab to be sold by Sprint starting Nov. 14

Samsung tablet is priced at $400 with two-year Sprint contract, and at $600 without a contract

Sprint Nextel will sell the Samsung Galaxy Tab touchscreen tablet for $399.99 with a two-year service contract, starting Nov. 14, the carrier announced Monday.

While the official statement from Sprint doesn't indicate it, a spokesman confirmed that the carrier will sell the Galaxy without a contract for $200 more, or $599.99. Verizon Wireless had announced last week that it will start selling the Galaxy only without a contract only on Nov. 11, also for $599.99.

All four major carriers will carry the Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch touchscreen tablet that runs Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Play 10.1 and includes dual cameras for video chat functionality.

AT&T has not yet revealed when it will begin selling the device or its pricing.

The fourth major U.S. carrier, T-Mobile, is reportedly set to begin selling the Galaxy Tab on Nov. 10.T-Mobile has not officially confirmed a price or sales date.

And Best Buy will offer a Wi-Fi-only version of the Galaxy Tab for $499.99 at an unknown date, according to various blog sites.

Sprint customers will have two rate plans for the Galaxy Tab, a 2GB data plan with unlimited text and multimedia messaging for $29.99 a month or a 5GB data plan with unlimited messaging for $59.99 a month. Presumably those Sprint Galaxy data plans apply to both contract and non-contract customers, although Sprint did not immediately verify that would be the case or whether non-contract customers would get text and multimedia messaging included in that pricing.

Sprint's 5G data rates are $10 higher than Verizon. Verizon is charging $20 for 1GB of data usage on the Galaxy, $35 for 3GB, $50 for 5GB and $80 for 10GB. The carrier will also start selling Apple's iPad tablet bundled with a MiFi mobile hot spot device with the same data plans as the Galaxy starting Oct. 28. Verizon has called the no-contract plans unique to tablets since they are new to Verizon and will offer unusual new uses for customers.

Sprint noted that the Galaxy adds a new category of wireless devices to the carrier, which has focused much of its attention on 4G wireless over Wimax in 55 cities. The Galaxy Tab will not work over 4G, however.

Fared Adib, vice president of Sprint product development, called the Galaxy "a powerful entertainment device and business tool," noting that it includes a 1 GHz processor for fast browsing, video chat and other applications.

Mobile hotspot capability is built in for up to five Wi-Fi-ready devices and can be purchased for an added $29.99 a month, Sprint said.

Starting today, customers can pre-order the Galaxy at any participating Sprint retail store with the purchase of a $50 Sprint gift card, Sprint said. A pre-order means a customer's name will be added to a waiting list so they can be contacted for an appointment to complete the Galaxy purchase on Nov. 14.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
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