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18.4-inch Samsung Galaxy View headed to AT&T, FCC docs indicate

Documents on the FCC's website signal that Samsung's gargantuan tablet is one step closer to its official debut.

The Samsung Galaxy View tablet could sell only with AT&T. CNET/Marguerite Reardon

AT&T could be among the first, if not the only, wireless carrier to sell the massive Samsung Galaxy View tablet when it goes on sale.

The documents for wireless devices that vendors are required to clear through the FCC's website tell us a little about unannounced electronics. In this case, we see that the tablet is bound for AT&T.

Rumored to have an 18.4-inch display, the tablet first landed on our radar back in August. Details at the time purported to include an 8-megapixel camera on the back, a front-facing 2.1-megapixel camera, and a 5,700mAh battery. A few weeks later, Samsung released a teaser video for a Galaxy View device at the Gear S2 unveiling. In the clip, we see glimpses at what could be either large-screen tablet or a 2-in-1 device.

Once a hot trend in mobile, tablet sales have diminished over the last few years, impacting all device-makers. Even Apple is having a tough go of things as iPad sales have fallen year over year for six consecutive quarters. How does one counter the downward trajectory? For Apple and Samsung, at least, the cure could come in the form of larger-than-usual tablets that are significantly more expansive than 5.5 and 5.7-inch phones. Both the iPad Pro and the Galaxy View push beyond the 8-inch and 10-inch tablet sizes offered over the last few years.

The AT&T logo is unmistakable in this FCC document. Scott Webster/CNET

It's not clear whether AT&T will have exclusive rights to the Samsung Galaxy View or whether it simply gets a head start on the competition. AT&T has called dibs on Samsung products in the past; the Active versions of the Samsung Galaxy S smartphones can only be purchased through the carrier.

On the other hand, given this device treads on new ground, we might expect Samsung to offer the connected version of the Galaxy View more widely. My instincts tell me a Wi-Fi only version will be sold through the usual retail channels, with AT&T retaining exclusivity rights for a short while.

We won't have to wait much longer to find out what Samsung's intentions are as the South Korean company promised it'll release more details in October.