As expected, Samsung revealed that it will partner with Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) for its GalaxyTab Android tablet. T-Mobile USA, which was not mentioned in speculation leading up to Samsung's official announcement, also will launch the Android-powered tablet.
The carrier partnerships mirror Samsung's coup from earlier this year when all four Tier 1 U.S. operators launched variants of Samsung's flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S. In a Twitter post, Samsung said that by next week it will have shipped 2 million Galaxy S phones in the United States; Samsung said it shipped 1 million Galaxy S devices in the U.S. market at the end of August.
Samsung did not reveal pricing or release date information for the GalaxyTab, leaving that up to carriers. In their releases announcing the tablet, none of the carriers provided that information. However, Verizon said it will launch the tablet in the "coming weeks," AT&T said its launch will be in the "coming months," Sprint promised the tablet for this fall, and T-Mobile said it will launch the tablet for the holiday season.
Samsung said at some point in the future it will release a WiFi-only version of the tablet, similar to the approach Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) took with its popular iPad tablet.
Importantly, unlike the European version of the GalaxyTab, the U.S. versions will have telephony disabled, according to Engadget, meaning that users will not be able to pair a Bluetooth headset with it to make phone calls. Samsung representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Samsung also unveiled its Media Hub entertainment venture. The company announced content partnerships with MTV, NBC, Paramount and Universal Home Entertainment. Samsung said compatible GalaxyTab and Galaxy S device users will be able to buy and rent both movies and next-day TV shows. Samsung did not reveal pricing for the content but said it will be "competitive." Apple recently announced 99 cent TV show rentals, and offers movie rentals for around $5.
Samsung's 7-inch tablet runs Android 2.2 and has a Cortex A8 1 GHz processor, a 3-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting, access to the Android Market, support for Adobe Flash 10.1 and WiFi.
Samsung is just one of many players looking to capitalize on the tablet market this holiday season. LG and others have stated plans to offer Android tablets this fall, and Motorola (NYSE:MOT) co-CEO Sanjay Jha said the company hopes to release an Android tablet early next year.
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