Samsung all but unveiled its tablet product, dubbed the GalaxyTab, which will run on Google's Android platform. It is the clearest indication yet that handset makers are ready and willing to respond to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad.
In a highly-polished teaser video, Samsung revealed a few of the device's specifications. The GalaxyTab will run Android 2.2, have a 7-inch touchscreen display, Swype, HD video viewing capabilities, an ereader and the ability to perform video calling and run Adobe's Flash software. The video closes with a date and location: Sept 2, Berlin. The IFA consumer electronics conference is kicking off there at that time.
Samsung provided no price for the GalaxyTab, and did not provide any indication as to whether wireless carriers will sell the gadget. It's unclear whether the GalaxyTab will sport cellular wireless connections.
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam said in May the carrier was considering Motorola (NYSE:MOT), LG and Samsung as potential tablet partners. Additionally, Verizon Communications CFO John Killian said earlier this month at an investor conference that the carrier plans to launch tablets in the "not-too-distant future."
Samsung is heading into what looks like an increasingly crowded tablet market. LG plans to release its own Android tablet later this year--Chang Ma, the vice president of marketing for LG's mobile devices unit, recently boasted to the Wall Street Journal that his company's tablet will be "better than the iPad." Further, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is reportedly working on a tablet called the BlackPad; Motorola has been reportedly developing a tablet that will run on Android and will link to Verizon's FiOS TV service; and Hewlett-Packard plans to release a tablet running on Palm's webOS platform early next year.
The actions are an attempt to grab a piece of the tablet market blown open by Apple; the company sold 3.27 million iPads during its last quarter.
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