AT&T will sell the 7-inch Galaxy Tab for $649.99 without a contract starting Nov. 21, according to what appears to be an official AT&T document posted today on a tech news Web site.
A spokeswoman for AT&T said she could not confirm the the reliability of the post on Engadget , including the reported price and sales date. She did say that the carrier will be selling the tablet device soon.
If the document is correct, AT&T would charge $50 more than Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA charges for the Galaxy Tab without a contract.
The purported AT&T document also explains that the Galaxy Tab would be sold with monthly data plans like those it offers for Apple's iPad tablet with Wi-Fi + 3G -- $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB. The document also says that a 16GB AT&T Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi+ 3G would cost $21 mor than the $629 similarly configured iPad.
AT&T will be the fourth major U.S. Carrier to offer the Galaxy Tab.
Verizon began selling the Galaxy Tab without a contract for $600 on Thursday. Verizon offers four data plans, ranging from $20 per month for 1 GB of data to $80 a month for 10 GB of data.
T-Mobile started selling Galaxy Tabs on Wednesday at $600 without a contract or $399.99 with a two-year contract. T-Mobile is offering two Galaxy Tab data plans.
Sprint is due to start selling Galaxy Tabs on Sunday for $399.99 with a two-year contract.
It is too early to tell how popular the Galaxy Tab tablet will be, although an employee at one T-Mobile corporate store in Framingham, Mass., told a reporter it had four on hand on Wednesday, with "some" still on hand a day later -- not a quick sellout.
Having the tablet device available on four carriers will boost sales and please its manufacturer, Samsung, analysts said. However, most analysts don't believe Galaxy Tab will provide a strong challenge to Apple's iPad, whose estimated sales have totaled about 8 million units since April.
Verizon appears heavily invested in selling tablet computers, offering both iPads and Galaxy Tabs bundled with Wi-Fi + 3G and a MiFi mobile hotspot. The carrier recently began promoting its iPad bundled with MiFi sales via TV ads.
Reviewers have been "all over the map" regarding Galaxy Tab, noted Computerworld blogger Richi Jennings .
Well-known reviewer Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal called the Galaxy Tab the "first credible competitor" to the iPad, despite its 7-inch screen. The iPad's screen measures 9.7 inches. He noted that both have about the same resolution, while the Galaxy Tab includes two cameras, a Flash media player and a removable memory card. The iPad doesn't include a camera.
"I like it," Mossberg said. "It's a serious alternative to the iPad."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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