AT&T Charging More for Samsung IPad Rival Than Others
AT&T Inc. will sell Samsung Electronics Co.’s tablet computer for $649.99, or $50 more than Verizon Wireless and $150 more than Sprint Nextel Corp., which requires a two-year service contract to get its lowest price.
AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless company, will begin selling the Galaxy Tab on Nov. 21, at least a week later than Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile USA. Steve Schwadron, a spokesman, said AT&T is not offering a subsidy on the device.
“We have the largest Wi-Fi network and at no additional charge the customers and plan subscribers get access,” said Schwadron, in an interview. “We’re giving our customers a lot of choice.”
Customers who buy Samsung’s tablet from AT&T can access the Internet either through AT&T’s mobile-phone network for a monthly fee or via Wi-Fi service, which is often free.
“Each carrier is trying to position the device and the accompanying service in a different way,” said Charles Golvin, a Forrester Research Inc. analyst. “AT&T and Verizon are saying, you don’t have to have our service with a contract.”
AT&T, based in Dallas, is the exclusive U.S. wireless carrier for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and the only provider that lets owners of Apple’s iPad connect directly to its mobile-phone network. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is designed to compete with the iPad, which held 95 percent of the tablet computer market in the third quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, and Sprint have already started selling the Galaxy Tab for as little as $399.99 if customers sign a contract for two years of wireless service. The device, which features a 7-inch touch screen, went on sale at Verizon Wireless on Nov. 11 for $599.99.
AT&T gained 17 cents to $28.63 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares added 2.1 percent this year.
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