Best Buy to sell 3G-less Galaxy Tab, but what's the point?

Posted by Mike Luttrell

A leaked ad suggests Best Buy will begin selling a new version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab that only has Wi-Fi connectivity and knocks off $100 from the price, but that kind of defeats the entire purpose of the device.

People have been balking at the steep $599 price tag on Samsung's iPad rival, the Galaxy Tab. It places it directly against Apple's tablet with hardly any advantage in price. That's a difficult idea to stomach considering the universality the iPad has already managed to attain.

The main appeal of the Galaxy Tab, even more so than the iPad, is its online features. Its browser has full Flash support, it can connect to the Android Market, etc. It is also being touted more as an on-the-go product than the iPad, which many consumers are using solely in their homes.

But the Galaxy Tab is a smaller, one-handed device that is more suited for everyday travel. Stripping away its ability to connect to the Internet at any time from anywhere, kind of makes the entire product devalued, much more than just a $100 drop in price.

Sprint has so far been the only mobile carrier to offer a subsidy on the device, bringing it down to $499 for customers who sign up for a service agreement. Both Sprint and Verizon are selling the device as a standalone product for $599.

Each has its own version of the Galaxy Tab configured to connect to their respective 3G data networks with an associated plan. Verizon is offering month-to-month service with no contract.

AT&T and T-Mobile are also slated to get their own versions of the device, but that will come later as those carriers use a different mobile standard than Sprint and Verizon, and Samsung needs to finalize the Galaxy Tab for those specs.

So, trying to sell a Galaxy Tab without a cellular radio is kind of like trying to sell a mobile phone without mobile connectivity. I just don't see the point.

Photo credit: Pocketables.net