If you're keeping score, Apple's iPad may soon be competing against high-profile tablets from HTC, Cisco, Research In Motion and Motorola -- and at least one HP device. But almost half a year has passed since the iPad hit the market and we still don't have a firm date for any of these devices. Now, Samsung could be ready to offer just that, as the manufacturer has put up a flashy video promising to introduce a 7-inch Google Android tablet at a Sept. 2 event in Berlin.
Until now the device, dubbed the Galaxy Tab, has been the subject of a number of rumors (as has basically every other potential device out there). And admittedly, the video doesn't offer much in the way of details. It will run on the 2.2 version of Android -- or Froyo -- and allows for video calling, e-reading and HD movie playback, and it will offer support for Flash.
Samsung's promotional video opens with a series of glimpses of the device's built-in apps in action. Blink and you'll miss it, but the keyboard is Swype-enabled and the Tab features GPS. The video also includes augmented reality among its capabilities.
That's about all the confirmed information available on the tablet. Tech site Engadget, however, has reported -- via a Chinese site called ifanr.com -- that its screen sports a 1,024 x 600 pixel resolution and that it has a 3.2 megapixel camera. It's also said to be significantly lighter than an iPad.
In the past, the device has been pegged to a third-quarter release date. But next week, Samsung will provide more details in that regard.
The Galaxy Tab's 7-inch screen will provide an interesting contrast to the 10-inch iPad, which some users have complained is too large to hold comfortably. Several recent rumors have Apple launching its own 7-inch iPad Mini in time for the holidays.
Whether you consider the Tab to be the iPad's first real competitor depends on whether you group the recently rolled out 5-inch Dell Streak into the tablet category. As a hybrid smartphone-tablet, it's hard for me to call it a direct rival.
But whatever your definition, a flood of other devices will be entering the market in the coming months. Google has been rumored to be prepping a device built by HTC for a Nov. 26 release date, and an Android-based Motorola tablet may also appear in time for Christmas. Early next year, we should see a Palm OS-based tablet from HP, and possibly a Windows 7-based one as well. And on the enterprise front, RIM may finally be ready to unveil its BlackPad tablet in November, while 2011 will see the launch of Cisco's Cius tablet.That's hardly a comprehensive list, and we'll also see the iPad 2 before too long. But by that time we may actually have a tablet war on our hands rather than a rout.