Sprint Offering Galaxy Tab With And Without Contract

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Overland Park, Kansas - Sprint joined Verizon Wireless in announcing pricing and availability for the Android-based

Samsung Galaxy Tab


Both carriers are positioning the 7-inch tablet device as a data-only device whose circuit-switched voice-calling capability will not be activated.

The Android 2.2 device, however, does offer video chat over 3G data, thanks to dual cameras.

When Samsung announced the Tab earlier this year, the company said it included cellular voice calling via speakerphone or Bluetooth even though there is no hard dialing keypad or hard QWERTY keyboard.

T-Mobile and AT&T have not yet announced their plans for the Tab, although Samsung has said all four of the nation's largest carriers would offer it.

Separately, cellphone maker Huawei entered the Android tablet market with a Wi-Fi-only model that Best Buy will offer sometime next month.

For its part, Sprint will begin offering the Galaxy Tab on Nov. 14 at $399.99 with a two-year 3G data contract and at an unsubsidized no-contract $599.99 with prepaid data service as an option. Last week, Verizon said it would offer the Tab beginning Nov. 11 but only at an unsubsidized $599 with prepaid monthly access plans beginning at $20 a month for 1GB of data.

 Without data plans, the Tabs access the Internet via Wi-Fi.

 Sprint will begin offering the Tab Nov. 14 at select Sprint Stores, its business-sales channel, its web site, and telesales. A spokesman also said "other key retail partners, like Best Buy, Radio Shack and Office Max" will also offer the device with embedded Sprint 3G.

 Beginning today, customers can pre-order the Sprint tablet at any participating Sprint Store with the purchase of a $50 Sprint gift card.

 Sprint customers will have two rate plans to choose from: a 2GB data plan with unlimited messaging at $29.99 per month and a 5GB data plan with unlimited messaging at $59.99 per month. For an additional $29.99/month, Sprint will activate the device's mobile hot spot capability. Sprint Navigation can be added for $2.99 per day or $9.99 per month

 Sprint is also offering the device with ThinkFree Office to open and make changes to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or PDF documents.

 The Sprint version will also feature the Samsung Media Hub to download movies and TV shows via Wi-fi for purchase or rental.

 For its part, Verizon's Tab will offer the Samsung Media Hub as well as  Verizon's V CAST Music and V CAST Song ID, VZ Navigator, Slacker Radio, Kindle for Android, and Blockbuster On Demand. It will also feature V CAST Apps, Verizon's app store. The device will be available through Verizon channels, and agents and retailers will have the option to sell it, a spokesperson said.

For its part, Best Buy launched a presale today of the Verizon- and Sprint-equipped versions, each at $599 without data contract, and a Wi-Fi-only Huawei S7 tablet at $299, also with 7-inch screen. Best Buy's models will be available sometime in November, a spokesman said.

The Huawei model features built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Android 2.1 OS, 7-inch color touchscreen, built-in front front and rear video cameras, videochat, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and miroSD Card slot with 8GB capability.


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