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Samsung takes gloves off tab

Fri, 09/17/2010 - 8:00am
Monica Alleven, Wireless Week

Samsung talked up the Galaxy Tab's ability to run websites using Adobe's Flash during a press event in New York last night, complete with an Adobe executive on hand to show a demo.

Kevin Lynch, chief technology officer at Adobe, said he was delighted to show Adobe on a tablet computer. Most video content on the Web relies on Flash, something Apple refused to incorporate into the iPad when it was first released.

Samsung Galaxy TabThe Tab will come with Android 2.2 (Froyo), even though Google and others in the mobile device space have said Android isn't yet suitable for a tablet. Apparently Samsung doesn't believe that, and neither do the four major U.S. carriers that are lined up to sell the device. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless plan to sell the device in time for the holidays. A Wi-Fi-only device will be introduced later.

Samsung chief strategy officer Omar Khan showed how the Tab is small enough to fit in the front pocket of his Banana Republic jacket or the back pocket of jeans. It's got a 7-inch screen and weighs 13 ounces, or about the same as a 12 ounce full can of soda. Hardware features include two cameras, a 3 megapixel on the back with flash and a front 1.3-megapixel camera.

In an onstage demo, Khan showed how the front camera is capable of video chat, so, for example, parents who travel a lot can have face-to-face conversations with their children who are on the soccer field. The Tab will be supported by a series of accessories, including a full-size keyboard, docking station and a car dock for dashboard navigation.

The Tab will also include access to Samsung's home-grown Media Hub, where consumers can watch movies and TV shows optimized for their Galaxy. Samsung is working with big-name content players like MTV Networks, NBC, Paramount, Universal Studios and Warner. During Thursday night's event, NBC executive Michael Schreiber gave a sneak peak of a new show called "The Event," a conspiracy thriller that debuts Monday, which also will be available for Galaxy viewing.

Samsung said pricing for Media Hub will be competitive with other content stores in the market. Pricing for the Tab has not been announced.

Since Samsung unveiled Galaxy S just a few months ago, four phones have landed at the four biggest nationwide U.S. carriers, and executives say the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

President of Samsung Telecom America Dale Sohn said the company hopes next week to officially announce 2 million shipments of Galaxy S devices. By the end of the year, it plans to reach the 5 million mark. Globally, Samsung expects to double its smartphone shipments in 2011.

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