updated 10:00 pm EST, Fri December 17, 2010
US Cellular Galaxy Tab drops to 200 with 5GB plan
US Cellular joined in the Galaxy Tab price cuts on Friday with an uncommon discount. The recently reviewed tablet still costs $400 on the basic $15 plan but has followed a European model and is charging just $200 for those who sign to a contract for the $55, 5GB plan. Other carriers have similarly priced plans but don't change the subsidy based on the level of service.
The promo is likely meant to attract buyers from rival carriers but is still unusual in how quickly it arrived after the launch. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon haven't moved on prices and don't necessarily point to a major sales problem, but the drops could suggest that the smaller carriers aren't selling as briskly as hoped in the face of competition. Discounts are increasingly common early on into devices' lifespans on carriers in recent months, but these usually come from third parties like Amazon.
One of the frequent complaints for the Galaxy Tab has been the common though not universal requirement to sign up for a data plan. AT&T is currently the only one following an iPad-style prepaid model that lets users sign up at will; others let users pay full price to go off-contract but don't necessarily let users buy without service.