Samsung launches Android tablet, Vodafone gobbles it up

Korean handset vendor Samsung has launched its first tablet device, with global carrier Vodafone announcing that it is to begin offering the product from October. Dubbed the Galaxy Tab, the device runs the Android 2.2 OS, known as Froyo.

Unlike the Apple iPad, to which the Galaxy Tab bears an inevitable resemblance, Samsung’s unit boasts cellular connectivity from the outset, to complement its wifi capabilities. Quad-band GSM through to EDGE will probably be less useful to consumers than the tri-band HSPA connectivity that will be needed to fully exploit the multimedia access the device is designed to enable.

The device also supports all cellular communication, offering voice and video calling, SMS and MMS as well as email. Support for Adobe’s Flash Player 10.1 represents another differentiation from Apple’s iPad.

“Samsung recognizes the tremendous growth potential in this newly created market,” said JK Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile unit, talking about the nascent tablet market. “There is a new and emerging consumer demand that Samsung can satisfy since mobile is in our DNA. This demand continues to grow and develop as users tap its limitless potential,” he added.

The Galaxy Tab is powered by a Powered by a Cortex A8 1.0GHz application processor.

Vodafone was the first operator to announce a distribution deal for the device, saying that it would be available in the majority of its European properties from October, as well as a number of unspecified operations worldwide.

“Vodafone’s aim is to offer all customers new and attractive ways to enjoy mobile data, on the move, across a variety of devices,” said Patrick Chomet, Group Director of Terminals at Vodafone. “Adding tablets as part of our device range is a natural next step that gives customers an alternative way to enjoy great content and internet services.”

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