All four national US wireless carriers announced last week that they'll sell Samsung 's Android-based tablet this fall, and Samsung disclosed a series of media partnerships aimed at making its Galaxy Tab a viable competitor to Apple's iPad.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile in separate announcements said they will offer the 7-inch tablet based on the latest release of Google's Android mobile OS, though none offered details on pricing or specific release dates. Verizon said it will launch the tablet in the "coming weeks," AT&T in the "coming months," Sprint by "this fall," and T-Mobile said "for the holiday season." At a press conference in New York, Samsung said it would launch a Media Hub services with partners including MTV, NBC, Paramount and Universal Home Entertainment, designed to be competitive with Apple's recently revamped Apple TV service.
The series of announcements mirrored the carrier coup Samsung scored in June with its flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S, which it landed on all four national wireless carriers. Several analysts and industry observers are attributing some of the huge gains in market share for the Android operating system to the iPhone's exclusivity to AT&T, which has also hampered initial sales of Research in Motion's latest BlackBerry model, the Torch, also exclusive to AT&T.
Clearly aiming its forthcoming tablet at Apple's iPad, Samsung said both GalaxyTab and Galaxy S users will be able to buy and rent both movies and next-day TV shows from its Media Hub service. Samsung didn't disclose pricing for the content but said it will be "competitive." Apple announced earlier this month 99-cent TV show rentals, and movie rentals for about $5.Samsung's 7-inch touchscreen tablet weighs less than a pound, runs the latest 2.2 release of Android and has a 1GHz Hummingbird Application processor, dual cameras for video chatting, and support for Adobe Flash 10.1 and WiFi.
Samsung is just among several hardware makers looking to capitalize on the media tablet market that Apple energized with its hot-selling iPad. LG, Toshiba and Motorola, among others, are eying the consumer market for tablets. While more enterprise- focused tablets are coming in the form of Cisco's Cius and the newly launched Avaya Flare Experience line of video conferencing tablets.