updated 09:25 pm EDT, Fri July 30, 2010
Samsung Galaxy Tab due by end of summer
Samsung gave hints on Friday that its Galaxy Tab slate could be launched within two weeks. The company confirmed in a public statement only that the seven-inch Android tablet should ship before the end of the summer, but it has also sent out an invite for a special event on August 11 that could include the Galaxy Tab. The notice to CrunchGear and other members of the press didn't give clues of its own, but it emphasized that there would be "new products and announcements" and not just existing products.
The Korean company is unlikely to have any phone unveilings in store as it just recently held a major gathering for its Galaxy S US release and doesn't have known major smartphones in the pipeline. Likewise, virtually all of its home theater equipment was introduced at CES in January and has been shipping for some time.
Much about the Galaxy Tab's design has been a mystery, but it may count on sheer specifications rather than software for its appeal. It may use a Super AMOLED screen that would provide high image quality but remain viewable outdoors; it could also have up to a 1.2GHz processor, 3.2-megapixel rear and front VGA cameras, and 16GB of internal storage with a microSDHC slot. Samsung may use a version of Android 2.2 with the same customizations as on the Galaxy S, but no indications exist that it has customized the UI or the apps for the larger screen area.
The tablet could be the first competitor to the iPad from a major brand and may be important to Android getting a foothold in the still young field of media-friendly tablets. While Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and others all plan Android tablets of their own, these have all been pegged for fall releases or later and haven't had enough verified details to show how they might differentiate themselves. Without any significant competition, Apple has dominated tablet sales in all categories within just four months and while facing shortages.