Monday, September 20, 2010

When, Not If The Samsung Tab Comes To Canada

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Tablet computers designed to compete with Apple's iPad have been rumoured to be in development for months now, It appears that Samsung's Android powered Galaxy Tab will be the first to go head to head with the iPad.  In a rare move for any manufacturer of devices that operate on cellular networks, the Galaxy Tab is compatible with both CDMA and GSM/HSPA networks.  Samsung has already announced that the Galaxy Tab will be available through all four of the national carriers in the United States.

What will remain to be seen if the Galaxy Tab will be sold through the regional carriers as well as the big national carriers.  Don't subscribers to MetroPCS, Cellular One and Cricket deserve access to the top devices just as Verizon or AT&T subscribers have. 

For subscribers in Canada the big question is if not when the Galaxy Tab comes north of the border.  There will be very little doubt that Bell, Telus, and Rogers will support the Galaxy Tab on their networks.  One thing that cellular subscribers in Manitoba will want answered.  Will it work on MTS?  The short answer is Yes if they sell it directly.  Canada's last CDMA only carrier will not activate any device they didn't originally sell. If the Tab is sold through general electronics retailers that don't sell or activate other MTS cellular products then it's highly unlikely that MTS would activate service on a Galaxy Tab.

For those in Saskatchewan wanting to use a Galaxy Tab on Sasktel, will be able to without any problem on the new HSPA network.  For those who need data service on the older CDMA network because CDMA coverage is more expansive since HSPA covers the cities and the highway corridors could be out of luck unless the subscriber lives in a CDMA only coverage area.

Competition from Samsung is exactly what the tablet computing market needs right now,  The cell phone industry's hardware subsidy business model may not appeal to some but it does make the cost of a tablet easier to take compared to the price that Apple charges to the iPad  which will make Samsung's Galaxy Tab an even more compelling competitor in both the United States and in Canada.

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