Sadness is the delay of the Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab
According to Samsung, over 600,000 Galaxy Tabs have left shelves since the device’s launch last month. That’s impressive, especially considering that it wasn’t available on all carriers for a full month. Yet the numbers could have been better. As it stands right now the Galaxy Tab has one model, the 3G one. Carriers have used this feature to subsidize the device. In exchange, customers sign two-year data contracts. Off contract the device costs $600, though it still does have that 3G radio. It makes me wonder what a Wi-Fi-only version would look like. We’ve been hearing rumblings of a Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab, and it has warmed my heart. These models are typically cheaper than their 3G counterparts. This is not only true for devices such as the Kindle, which provide 3G connectivity with no monthly charge, but also the iPad, which forces you to pay $129 extra for the privilege of paying a monthly data charge. If the Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi came out at a similar discount from the 3G model, I might stop thinking that the pricing is a mistake.
Let’s take a second to make the iPad comparison. The 3G model costs $629, which is $30 more than just about every carrier sells the Galaxy Tab (though $20 less than AT&T’s price). The Wi-Fi-only version costs $499, or about 20 percent less. Using the same scale, we could expect a Wi-Fi only Galaxy Tab to cost around $480. That sounds more along the lines of what I’d want to pay for a tablet. The downside, of course, is the lack of an always-on connection. You’ll need a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to use the non-local features of the Galaxy Tab. Yet there’s a good solution here: tethering. Yes, it does cost a bit extra per month, but it’s certainly less than buying a separate data plan. For that cost you can retain your Android smartphone (or any smartphone that can tether) and use it as a Wi-Fi hotspot for the Galaxy Tab. Unfortunately, we’re not going to see the Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab for a while now. Via Talk Android
, we learn that there has been a “manufacturer delay.” I’m not sure if that’s to pump up sales of the 3G version during the holiday season, or whether Samsung ran into actual problems when producing the second version of the Tab. I’ll certainly be waiting on its eventual release, though. It sounds as though it could be a great deal for a powerful tablet.