Samsung Tab Going to Verizon, AT&T and Sprint; Death Knell for Apple iPad Exclusivity?

Apparently not wanting to limit itself in a potential head-to-head showdown with the Apple iPad, Samsung will officially unveil its Galaxy Tab tablet computer, to run on AT&T, Verizon and Sprints wireless networks, Sept. 16. The Wall Street Journal broke the news but acknowledged that Samsung declined to make an official comment.

The article cites two people familiar with the matter who report a launch event for the Google Android-powered device is scheduled for New York Citys Time Warner Center on Thursday.

Samsung has ambitious expectations for the Tab. An executive last week said he anticipates shipping 10 million of them next year, nabbing one-third of the global tablet PC share in 2011. The price is likely to beat that of the iPad handily; expect the Tab to run between $200 and $300, depending on subsidies from the carriers. The iPads Wi-Fi-only version costs $499, and its AT&T cellular-equipped version, which is not subsidized by exclusive carrier AT&T, go for between $629 and $829.

The Tab features a 7-inch screen and a pair of cameras standard and front-facing. No word yet exactly what date youll be able to buy it, but the Journal reports that itll be available in Italy first.

While much speculation in the industry regarding Apple products has centered on the exclusive agreement between AT&T and Apple for the iPhone, the fact a major competitor to the iPad is soon going to launch on three wireless networks makes you wonder how long Apple will keep the iPad as an AT&T exclusive as well. Of course, at least to this point, competition in the smartphone market hasn’t driven Apple to dump iPhone exclusivity, so don’t be in too much of a hurry to sound the iPad exclusivity death knell.

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