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Contract Price For Samsung Galaxy Tab Revealed

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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Leaked documents in the United States have suggested that the Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet may be much cheaper if purchased with a contract

Concerns that Samsung’s answer to the Apple iPad tablet will be too expensive have been allayed somewhat after leaked US documents showed its cost when purchased with a contract.

According to unofficial T-Mobile blog TmoNews, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab device will be available in the US from T-Mobile USA, for a much more reason price of $399 (£250) with a two-year service contract.

The blog reported the price without contract at $649 (£407), according to leaked company documents obtained by TmoNews. Earlier in the month, news organisations reported the tablet would be coming to Sprint customers as well, for $399 (£250) with a two-year contract and at $599 (£376) without one.

No Confirmation

Asked for confirmation of these details, a Sprint spokesman told eWEEK 8 October: “Sprint has not announced pricing or availability for Samsung Galaxy Tab.” The news joins reports that the Galaxy Tab is headed for other major US network operators, including Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab originally debuted 3 September at the IFA 2010 consumer electronics show in Berlin. It features a TFT-LCD 7-inch screen and a Cortex A8 1GHz processor, 16GB of internal memory scalable to 32GB of external memory, and runs Google Android 2.2.

Samsung’s other Android-based competitor currently on the market, the Dell Streak, sells for $299 (£188) with an AT&T contract, and $549.99 (£345) unlocked.

A variety of other manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion, are reportedly developing their own tablet PCs that either run Android, Windows 7, or a proprietary operating system such as the Palm webOS.

Facing a growing threat from Android-based tablets (not to mention smartphones) Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently predicted that his company would have an iPad and Android tablet competitor on the market by the end of 2010. “You’ll see new slates with Windows on them. You’ll see them this Christmas,” Ballmer told an audience 5 October at the London School of Economics, according to Reuters. “Certainly we have done work around the tablet as both a productivity device and a consumption device.”

Apple Worried?

While the current hype is focused on Samsung, some reports suggest the iPad will still dominate the tablet market into 2012. An August report from IT research firm iSuppli predicted that while the iPad would face competition from HP, Lenovo, RIM, Google and others, the tablet won’t face a “viable competitor” until 2011. The firm said Apple’s complete integration of hardware, software, operating system and applications is a major piece of what makes the device a standout.

A July report from a Barclays Capital analyst said Apple would sell about 20 million iPads in 2011, negatively affecting lower-cost notebooks as well as the netbook market. Other analysts have also suggested growth for the tablet PC market, with research firm IDC estimating that worldwide media tablet shipments would total 46 million units in 2014. “IDC expects consumer demand for media tablets to be strongly driven by the number and variety of compatible third-party apps for content and devices,” analyst Susan Kevorkian wrote in a May statement.