Today sees the Australian launch of the tablet device which global gadget blog Engadget has labelled "the first true competitor to Apple's iPad" -- Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
In late September, Samsung revealed the 3G broadband-enabled Galaxy Tab would launch through all of Australia's carriers for a recommended retail price of $999 for the 16GB model. Last week, the company confirmed the tablet's launch date as today. However, as of this morning, none of Australia's mobile telcos have released plans or pricing for the tablet.
Spokespeople from Telstra, Optus and VHA have been invited to comment on their planned respective pricing options for the device. Telstra and Optus haven't yet responded on the issue, while a VHA spokesperson confirmed the company would launch the device shortly, but couldn't yet confirm pricing.
However, Optus' pricing on the device, at least, may have been inadvertently leaked through the website of electronics retailer Harvey Norman. The company is currently advertising the Galaxy Tab on a $59.95 Optus monthly plan, for zero dollars upfront and with 10GB per month of downloads included. This option is listed as being available from this Wednesday 10 November.
Alternatively, customers can pay $999 upfront for the Galaxy Tab from Harvey Norman -- although the retailer does not mention whether the Tab will be unlocked for use by any carrier. The outright option is listed as being available in December.
Blog Android Australia has also published what it said was a leak of Telstra's Galaxy Tab pricing -- although the telco has not confirmed whether the prices are accurate.
The company will offer three Galaxy Tab plans, according to the blog -- a $29 monthly plan with 1GB of data, a $49 plan with 7GB of data, and a $79 plan with 12GB of data. However, unlike the Optus $59.95 plan -- if the pricing plans are legitimate -- Telstra will also charge a repayment cost for the Galaxy Tab -- $25 per month extra on the $29 and $49 plans, or $15 a month on the $79 plan.
The known pricing of the Galaxy Tab so far makes it more expensive than the device which will likely be its biggest rival -- Apple's iPad. The 16GB iPad model with 3G broadband sells for $799 in Australia, with the 32GB and 64GB models going for $928 and $1,049 respectively.
However, the potential exists for some of the up-front cost to be cut out of the device through subsidised carrier pricing, as it could be sold by carriers in a similar way to mobile phones. In comparison, the iPad is only available to buy outright, with pre-paid browsing packs added on by the telcos.
Telstra currently charges $30 for a prepaid 3G SIM card for the iPad, with 1GB of data included. Recharge pricing is then available in varying amounts, according to the telco's site, ranging from $20 for 1GB of data up to $100 for 12GB of data. All of Telstra's recharge packs expire after 30 days.
Optus offers a wider range of pre-paid packs for the iPad, including a popular $80 recharge that gives a customer 8GB of data over six months. Vodafone has a similar recharge pack -- costing $100 for 6GB of data over six months, as well as a $150 recharge pack that comes with 12GB of data over a year.