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Published: 10/25/2010

Sprint undercuts Apple iPad, Verizon with Samsung Tab

BLOOMBERG NEWS

Sprint Nextel Corp., trying to undercut rivals in the tablet market, will sell the Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Tab for $200 less than it costs on Verizon Wireless's network and $229 less than the iPad.

Sprint will offer the Galaxy Tab starting Nov. 14 for $399.99 with a two-year wireless-data contract. Verizon Wireless is offering the Tab for $599.99, and Apple Inc. sells its lowest-priced iPad that can connect to a mobile-phone network for $629, though in both cases customers are not required to sign up for data contracts.

Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, aims to capitalize on the surging tablet market and gain an edge on Verizon and AT&T Inc. The Galaxy Tab is one of the first tablet devices to challenge Apple, which sold 4.19 million iPads last quarter. AT&T is the exclusive carrier for the iPad -- as well as Apple's iPhone -- though Verizon plans to sell a version that relies on a Wi-Fi connection to access the Net.

“This is designed to move market share in Sprint's favor and is a very compelling offer,” William Vogel, an analyst with Merlin Securities LLC in New York, said in an interview. He has a “buy” rating on Sprint shares.

Sprint is offering the device, which uses Google Inc.'s Android operating system, with data plans of $29.99 per month for 2 gigabytes of data or $59.99 for 5 gigabytes of data, according to a statement today. Verizon has a $20 plan for 1 gigabyte of data monthly and the AT&T offers 2 gigabytes monthly for $25 on the iPad.

Smaller Screen

The Tab features a 7-inch screen, compared with the iPad's 9.7-inch display. It also has cameras on each side for video calling and can work like a mobile phone.

Dell Inc., Research In Motion Ltd. and Motorola Inc. have all announced plans to release tablets, which are generally lighter than laptops and rely on touch screens.

AT&T also has said it will sell Samsung's Galaxy Tab, though pricing details aren't yet available, said Mark Siegel, a spokesman for the Dallas-based company. Reid Walker, a spokesman for Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. That company is the fourth- largest U.S. carrier.

Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, declined 5 cents to $4.80 at 12:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had added 33 percent this year before today.



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