updated 09:30 am EST, Wed February 23, 2011
Samsung 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab
Samsung reportedly confirmed on Wednesday that it would have a mid-size tablet on the market in the first half of the year. An 8.9-inch Android device would be sold through carriers. The spokesman didn't give Yonhap timeframes in the mention, but Korean press have floated rumors of a launch in March.
The company had given hints of a three-size strategy as far back as mid-2010 but at the time was expected to push much of it in the fall. Its Galaxy Tab 10.1 didn't show until this month, and no mention has been made of the rumored eight-inch version until now.
Samsung has typically tried to cater to every possible niche in a category and here might be hoping to cater to users who don't want a more phone-like tablet such as the original Galaxy Tab but who might find the 10.1 too big. It will have inadvertently put itself in direct competition with the same-sized LG Optimus Pad. The company may have a challenge hoping to balance a speed improvement over the 2010 tablet with a smaller and cheaper alternative to the still unreleased 2011 Galaxy Tab 10.1.