That faint, sad whistling sound you hear in the tech blogosphere is Samsung’s relentless hype for its Galaxy Tab devices deflating in an instant. Verizon announced today that it will offer the Android-powered tablet on November 11 for $599.99.
To be fair, Verizon is offering the Tab for $30 less than Apple is selling the cheapest 3G-enabled iPad. The Tab’s data plan — $20 per month for 1GB of data — is optional and contract-free, just like AT&T’s plan for the iPad ($25 per month for 2GB). But most consumers will compare the Tab’s $599 price tag to Apple’s $499 Wi-Fi only iPad — an admittedly unjust comparison, but one that nonetheless puts Samsung’s tablet in a bad light.
As I’ve written previously, the Galaxy Tab features a 7-inch screen (running at a 1024-by-600 pixel resolution), and the same 1-gigahertz processor and PowerVR graphics processor seen in the Samsung Galaxy S phones. It’s running Google’s Android 2.2 mobile OS, the version also known by its codename “Froyo,” and will support Adobe’s Flash 10.1 software for interactive websites and video. It will also sport 512MB of memory (twice that of the iPad), a rear 3-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video conferencing.
Since it’s on Verizon’s network, the Tab will also be loaded up with Verizon’s V Cast apps, as well as Slacker Radio, Kindle for Android, and Blockbuster On Demand. Curiously, it’s also getting an exclusive golf game, Let’s Golf. Er, yes, let’s.
Samsung previously announced that it expects to sell 10 million Galaxy Tab devices by the third quarter of 2011.
As it stands, the Galaxy Tab isn’t a very compelling purchase, especially since Verizon stores are also now carrying the iPad. Its smaller screen, in addition to the Android Market’s lack of dedicated tablet apps at the moment, give consumers little reason to choose it over the iPad. It likely won’t have much of a shot until Samsung manages to drive its price below $500.