Tag Archives | CTIA

Samsung’s New Galaxy Tabs: The iPad 2 Gets Well-Priced Competition

Greetings from the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, where Samsung just announced two new Galaxy Tab tablets running Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb. The new version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a 10.1″ display at 1280 by 800, a 1-GHz dual-core CPU, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, a 3-megapixel camera in the back and a 2-megapixel one up front. And at 8.6mm and 595 grams, it’s slightly thinner and slightly lighter than the surprisingly thin and light iPad 2. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a similar tablet with a screen that’s a bit smaller than the one on the iPad 2 rather than a bit larger.

Both Tabs will run a custom version of Honeycomb topped off with a new tablet-specific edition of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface and a bunch of Samsung services–and as usual with modified versions of Android, I wanna try it in person before I come to any conclusions about whether it makes the experience better or worse.

The most interesting thing about these new Tabs aren’t the specs–which look like what you might expect from a thoroughly modern Android-based tablet–but the pricing. The 10.1 will be available in a 16GB version for $499 and a 32GB one for $599 and will be available on June 8th; the 8.9″ will cost $469 for 16GB and $569 for 32GB and will arrive in “early summer.” Assuming no price cuts from Apple in the interim, the Tabs will provide the iPad 2 with real competition at similar price points for the first time. It’ll be fascinating to see how an Android tablet competes when the discussion is all about software, services, hardware, and the integration thereof, rather than about pricetags.

 

 


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CTIA Celebrity Sighting

I’ve met everyone from Roger McGuinn to LeVar Burton to Morgan Fairchild at tech trade shows here in Las Vegas, but CTIA Wireless is mostly a pretty subdued, down-to-business event, without much in the way of opportunities for encounters with celebs. Chipmaker Marvell, however, invited snowboarding legend Shaun White to its booth, where he’s signing posters, playing video games, and generally attracting attention from attendees/fans.

He was nice enough to pose for a photo with me–he’s the one on the right, in case you weren’t sure…


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Al Gore Opens His CTIA Keynote to the Press After All

Last week, PCMag.com’s Sascha Segan pointed out something unusual about former Vice President Al Gore’s keynote speech at next week’s CTIA Wireless phone trade show in Las Vegas: It wasn’t going to be open to the press, apparently at the request of Gore or his staff. It was a truly jarring bit of news. I’ve been attending tech trade shows for a couple of decades, and can’t remember a single other keynote that the media wasn’t invited to attend.

But it’s not just as a courtesy that we press people are normally let into such speeches–media coverage is one of the primary reasons why they exist. It’s impossible, for instance, to imagine a scenario in which Steve Jobs keynotes at Macworld Expo or Bill Gates ones at CES were anything but publicity extravaganzas designed to attract as much media attention as possible.

Also, as Segan pointed out, the auditorium where Segan pointed out would have been bulging with folks who could have blogged the event (with photos) from their phones if they chose. In the era of citizen journalism, the only way to truly keep journalists away from a speech would be to bar citizens from attending. You’d Gore–the co-founder of citizen-journalism TV channel Current, not to mention a former newspaper reporter–would understand that.

Besides, it’s not as if Gore hasn’t made plenty of remarks at tech-related events that were open to the media. I first saw him do so (via a special video) at the SIGGRAPH graphics show a couple of decades ago. And here’s fuzzy photographic proof that I’ve encountered him twice in the past five months alone (at the Web 2.0 Summit and Google’s Google Earth launch):

Al Gore at Web 2.0 Expo Al Gore at Google Earth Event

(Actually, come to think of it, maybe it’s photos like those that lead Gore to be publicity-shy.)

Anyhow, Gore has apparently thought better of the whole thing: the CTIA announced today that Gore will let members of the media into his talk after all. Good news. I’ll have left CTIA by the time he appears on April 3rd, but I’m happy for my fellow reporters–and, more important, for everybody out there who’d like to attend the conference but can’t, and will therefore rely on press coverage to learn what happened.


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