Repeating the multi-carrier approach of its Galaxy S Android smartphones, Samsung announced its upcoming Galaxy Tab tablet will be headed to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
The company also announced its Media Hub service for Galaxy S and Tab devices, which would offer movies and television shows for rent and purchase. The announcements were made tonight at a media event in New York.
That Samsung has landed its Android tablet across all major carriers isn’t surprising. The company likely did much of the legwork for the tablet deal when it worked out its Galaxy S release strategy. The multi-carrier approach also puts Samsung’s lofty goal of selling 10 million Galaxy Tab devices by the third quarter of 2011 into perspective — it certainly seems like more of a possibility now that the tablet will be widely available.
Exact pricing and release date information for the Galaxy Tab will be left up to the individual carriers. That likely means that purchasing the device will require signing up for a contract. Samsung product executive Hankil Yoon previously speculated that it would cost between $200 and $300. Unfortunately, the US version of the Galaxy Tab will lose the European version’s voice calling capabilities, according to Engadget. Samsung says that a Wi-Fi only version of the Galaxy Tab is coming eventually.
The company’s TouchWiz interface will apparently be changed for the US — it’s losing the Euro version’s Reader and Music hubs, but it will be coming with a new Media Hub and social networking integration. The Media Hub — which will soon be available for Galaxy S phones as well — will feature movies and next-day TV shows for rent and purchase from NBC, Paramount, Universal, MTV, Warner, and eventually more. Content that’s purchased can be shared with up to five other Samsung devices, Engadget reports.
While it’s nice to know that the Galaxy Tab will be widely available in the US, I hope we get actual pricing information sometime soon. Samsung is gearing up to be a formidable force against Apple’s iPad, but carrier greed with pricing and contracts could make the device less tempting for US consumers.