Tonight Samsung held a media event in NYC and announced the news we all knew was coming – the Galaxy Tab is headed to all four major U.S. carriers this holiday shopping season. No pricing or actual ship dates were revealed, but AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are all on board to offer the 7-inch tablet this fall.
Each version of the Galaxy Tab will have software “optimized” for the carrier (bloatware), but we do not know yet if there will be any hardware differences like we saw with the Samsung Galaxy S lineup. It is expected that each carrier will subsidize the device, so look for the Tab to debut around $200-300 with 2-year contract.
Even though most carriers are starting to push their 4G networks this fall, all versions of the Tab will only support 3G data.
Specific launch details should be available in the coming weeks and months. Hopefully we will get some pricing info and ship dates during next month’s CTIA show on October 6th.
Samsung also let it slip that a WiFi-only version of the Tab was in the works. This is different from what we were told at IFA earlier this month, so it sounds like Samsung listened to everyone’s feedback and decided it was a good idea.
With recent speculation suggesting HTC and Motorola are waiting till early 2011 to launch their tablets, the Galaxy Tab looks to be the best available Android tablet this holiday season. LG could have a Tegra 2 tablet out in Q4, but nothing specific has been announced at this time and it wouldn’t surprise me if they adjust their plans.
I’m still having a hard time swallowing a second device tied to a carrier, but we have to wait and see what kind of plans are announced for the Tab. It is a unique device for the carriers, so I expect we will see some special plans created just for the Tab.
How much per month are you willing to spend for 3G data on the Tab? Would you fork over another $30 like we see on most smartphone data plans?