Sprint's Tab is cheaper but requires a contract

CIOL Bureau
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NEW YORK, USA: Sprint Nextel plans to sell iPad rival, the GalaxyTab from Samsung Electronics for a third less than the tablet computer's pricetag at Verizon Wireless but, the offer still comes with a catch that at leastone analyst said would limit sales.


On Nov. 14 Sprint, the No. 4 U.S. mobile service will kickof sales for $400 for the Tab, which is seen as the most credible competitor sofar to Apple Inc's popular iPad, which has on sale for $630 since earlier thisyear.

But while Sprint customers will pay less up-front, they mayend up forking out more cash over time as the discount comes with a two-yearcontract requiring monthly service fees starting at $29.99 for two gigabytes ofdata downloads.

Verizon will charge $20 per gigabyte of data but will notrequire customers to sign a contract. Sprint customers can also sign up for a$59.99 per month plan allowing for 5 gigabytes of data downloads.


So, including the service fees, Sprint customers would endup paying $1,120 over two years at the least, and Verizon customers who use 1gigabyte of data every month would pay $1,080 over two years.

Since most of the U.S. population already own cellphones,operators are eyeing future growth from connections to new devices like tabletcomputers or laptops.

CCS Insight analyst John Jackson said consumers may preferthe flexibility of forgoing a contract but questioned whether either operatorwill see much success against iPad as their pricing is not cheap enough incomparison.


"Neither of these are an obvious recipe forsuccess," said Jackson. He said that consumers may go for the Verizonproduct while Sprint's best hope would be to sign up business people who travela lot.

Other analysts have cited a price tag of $400 or lower asappropriate for Tab if it is to compete well against iPad.

Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications andVodafone Group Plc, had said it will start selling the Samsung device Nov. 11.