Samsung is launching a three-pronged attack with its Galaxy Tab as it tries to compete with Apple’s popular iPad. According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has negotiated deals with Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and AT&T to carry its Android tablet when it becomes available next month. Notably absent from this list is T-Mobile, which has not yet worked out a deal with Samsung. All will come to light soon as Samsung is expected to officially launch its tablet in the US as part of September 16th NYC event.
Pricing on the tablet is still a source of contention with off-contract costs possibly soaring as high as $1000. Samsung executives have a pegged a $200-300 price tag but the end cost will depend upon carrier subsidies. US pricing has not been disclosed and Verizon is reportedly still deciding whether to offer the Galaxy Tab at discounted, contract-based pricing.
This three carrier distribution deal is a noteworthy step for Samsung as it attempts to grab a significant part of the nascent Android tablet market. Samsung reportedly expects to ship 10 million tablet devices next year, a 33% market share. Samsung’s strategy for market domination focuses on the broad distribution of its mobile devices, not exclusive, single-carrier deals. Samsung launched its Galaxy S handset on all four major wireless carriers in the US and looks to do the same with its Galaxy Tab. This multi-carrier launch sets Samsung apart from its rivals Apple and Dell, whose iPad and the Android-powered Streak are exclusive to AT&T.
The Korean manufacturer has lofty goals but it may be held back by Android itself which is not designed to support the high-resolution displays of tablet devices. earlier this week, Google confirmed that Android 2.2 is not optimized for tablets and users expecting a full Android experience may have to wait for Honeycomb or later to hit these tablet devices. Despite this potential limitation, I still expect Samsung’s Galaxy Tab to do well. Initial reviews are favorable and, unlike the Streak which limps along on Android 1.6, the Galaxy Tab is the first high-end, Froyo-based competitor to the iPad.