By Harry McCracken | Monday, September 6, 2010 at 11:13 am
How much will Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet (which I tried at IFA last week) cost? One report says it could go for around $1000, or twice as much as the cheapest iPad. But others quote less alarming estimates of $200 to $400.
Actually, all the figures could be correct: They involve multiple countries, and some are full price while others are what you’d pay after signing up for a 3G contract. (Samsung plans to sell the tablet exclusively through carriers, so most or all of the folks who buy one will presumably get a subsidized price.)
It’s obvious that a Galaxy Tab which cost a lot more than an iPad would be a non-starter, and that one which was appreciably cheaper could do quite well. But with Apple able to turn a healthy profit on a 9.7″ iPad with 3G that sells for $629 with no subsidy, I don’t understand why Samsung couldn’t sell a 7″ 3G Galaxy Tab for an even lower unsubsidized price.
(The Korea Times quotes a Samsung executive as saying that the phone will sell for slightly more than a Galaxy S smartphone. That doesn’t narrow things down much. For instance, T-Mobile’s standard subsidized price for the Galaxy S-based Vibrant is $199.99, but a friend of mine just bought two of ’em from Amazon–for a penny apiece.)
I don’t know how much it costs Samsung to manufacture a Tab, but given the price of smartphones and the price of iTabs, $350 or so feels like a reasonable two-year-contract price to me. Which raises another question: How much will the monthly bill run, and will carriers make you sign up for voice service (the Tab can act as a phone) or let you go for a cheaper, data-only plan?