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Sprint to Release Galaxy Tab 10.1 on June 24th for $499

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1Sprint is expanding its tablet offerings this Friday with the release of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.  The odd thing here, however, is that it is no different than the version that was released last week.

For reasons known only to Sprint, the company will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 this week at the same price you can pick it up anywhere else, but it has no connection to the carrier’s cellular network.  They do mention in the press release that you could pick up a MiFi or Overdrive to use with it when you’re mobile, but unlike the Verizon release of the device, they aren’t offering any sort of discount if you purchase the items together.

Is Sprint turning into a general consumer electronics retailer and they simply forgot to inform the world of this?  Selling tablets that have some sort of connection to your network makes perfect sense, but selling one that just happens to be able to take advantage of another device they sell (which they will sell you at full price) makes little to no sense to me.  Wouldn’t you rather take up space in your retail locations with a device you can be guaranteed of getting a cellular contract off of?

Apparently the company thinks this somehow positions them as “a one-stop-shop for all of their tablet needs,” but unless I missed the memo about them carrying the iPad, I think the idea of someone coming to a Sprint store to see all of the various tablets on the market is a bit off the mark.

What do you think about Sprint carrying devices that have nothing to do with their network?

Here’s the full press release.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), June 21, 2011 – Sprint customers will be able to enjoy the convenience of Samsung Galaxy TabTM 10.1 16GB Wi-Fi version beginning June 24 through direct ship sales channels, including Sprint Stores, Web sales (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and Sprint Business Sales for $499.99 (excludes taxes). It will be available for purchase in Sprint retail stores on July 24.

This powerful tablet boasts a brilliant 10.1-inch HD touchscreen (1,280×800) display delivering sharper movies, better game graphics, and crystal clear video chats. At just 0.34-inches, it is the world’s thinnest mobile tablet. It comes with AndroidTM 3.1 Honeycomb with Android MarketTM providing access to more than 60,000 apps for Galaxy Tab 10.11 and an immersive, lightning-fast Web browsing experience.

“Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 expands Sprint’s tablet innovation, growing our lineup to five options,” said David Owens, Sprint vice president of product development. “This gives Sprint customers a one-stop-shop for all of their tablet needs. Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a dynamic tablet, but it is even more amazing when paired with the Sprint 4G network through our OverdriveTM Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless or MiFi®3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Novatel.”

Galaxy Tab 10.1 is designed with a brilliant 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display with WXGA 1,280×800 resolution, delivering vibrant colors and crisp clarity. The aspect ratio of the display is ideal for widescreen viewing of movies, TV shows and photos. It features two cameras – a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera with camcorder, flash and zoom, and a front-facing, 2-megapixel camera – enabling video chat.

Additional key features include:

  • Android 3.1 Honeycomb offering faster and smoother transitions between different applications, more intuitive navigation to and from home screens, and broader support of USB accessories, external keyboards, joysticks and gamepads
  • Android Market for access to more than 60,000 applications for Galaxy Tab 10.1
  • Mobile EmailIMAP and POP, GmailTM, MSN Hotmail® and Yahoo!®
  • Google Mobile Services, including YouTube, GmailTM, Google TalkTM and Google MapsTM
  • HD camcorder with 720p video capture
  • Full HTML Web browser with Google Search and Adobe® Flash® Player (10.3)
  • 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Stereo Bluetooth Technology 2.1

Galaxy Tab 10.1 customers can expect a software update planned for this summer that will enable more favorite features and services including:

  • Customized User Experience “Samsung TouchWiz UX”
    Samsung’s TouchWiz user experience is designed with a Live Panel menu for customizing the home screen of Galaxy Tab 10.1 with digital pictures, favorite websites and social network feeds. In addition, the TouchWiz UX includes a “Mini Apps” tray of commonly used features, such as task manager, calendar and music player, which can be launched while other major applications are already in use.
  • Samsung Media Hub
    The software upgrade will introduce the evolution of Samsung’s popular movie and TV content service, known as Media Hub. Media Hub has been redesigned with a new user interface for even easier downloads of rented or purchased content. The new version of Media Hub also includes an HD Extender, which allows the user to play back Media Hub content on TV through an HDMI cable from the Galaxy Tab 10.1 dock or adapter.
  • Readers Hub & Social Hub
    It will also gain access to Samsung’s Readers Hub service, which is a robust library filled with more than 2.2 million books, 2,000 newspapers and 2,300 magazines. Also, the software upgrade will install Samsung’s Social Hub service, which aggregates email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface.
  • Versatile Content Sharing
    Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will also receive Samsung’s Allshare service, for seamless content transfer between the tablet and other DLNA-enabled devices, such as HDTVs, monitors and digital cameras. The software upgrade will also transform Galaxy Tab 10.1 into a device capable of accepting streaming content from a TV to the tablet itself.

Sprint was unbeaten among major wireless carriers for customer satisfaction according to results from the2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index. In addition to tying for first place among wireless carriers, Sprint was also the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, during the last three years, according to the survey.

 


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...