T-Mobile cuts price on Samsung Galaxy Tab

The carrier has lowered the price of Samsung's 7-inch tablet to $249 after a $50 rebate, though that locks in the customer to a two-year contract.

T-Mobile

Samsung's Galaxy Tab is now selling from T-Mobile for a new low of $249 after a $50 rebate. The only catch? You'll still have to opt for a two-year contract.

The price of the Galaxy Tab through T-Mobile is a significant drop from the $399 it originally cost when it made its debut in November . But the data plan will still set subscribers back $24.99 a month for 200MB worth of access and $39.99 for 5GB.

Samsung's 7-inch Tab is being offered by all of the core U.S. carriers, including T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and U.S. Cellular. T-Mobile's current price is the lowest one yet. But other carriers of the tablet have been testing the waters by dangling the Tab at lower prices and a range of data plan charges.

Verizon Wireless currently sells the tablet for $499.99, down from its original price tag of $599.99. The least expensive data plan tacks on an additional $20 per month for 1GB of data. However, customers can back out of the data contract after the first month and use the Tab just as a Wi-Fi device.

Coming close to T-Mobile's price, Sprint is selling the tablet for $299 with two available data plans--2GB for $29.99 and 5GB for $59.99. But like T-Mobile, Sprint locks you into a two-year contract.

AT&T is charging $549.99 for the Tab, down from the original price of $649.99. Though that's a high price upfront, consumers aren't locked into any contract and can pay for data only as they need it with the plans providing 250MB for $14.99 a month or 2GB for $25 a month.

U.S. Cellular is also playing a numbers game, offering the Samsung tablet at different price points depending on the data plan. The carrier currently sells the Tab at $499.99 with $14.99 and $34.99 monthly data plans. The Tab can also be had for just $399.99 after a rebate, but at that price U.S. Cellular's data plan costs $54.99 for 5GB and $74.99 if the subscriber wants unlimited text messaging.

T-Mobile's $249 price for the Tab comes amid the upcoming launches of more Android tablets such as the Motorola Xoom , and Research In Motion's BlackBerry Playbook . Then, of course, there's Apple's anticipated iPad 2 . Samsung itself is also prepping new variations of the Tab, including a 4G version destined for Verizon Wireless. All told, this year's crop of tablets will give prospective buyers a dizzying array of choices.

Ultimately, though T-Mobile's price cut may make the Samsung Tab more attractive, the real cost to consumers lies not in the device but in the data plans. With people already shelling out lots of money on their cell phone plans, will they really spend $20, $30, and more each month for yet another 3G device?

For consumers who are eyeing the Tab but can't justify yet another monthly cellular subscription, Samsung will be releasing a Wi-Fi only version of the tablet early this year.

 

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