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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab -- to rival Apple’s iPad -- launches Nov. 11 with $599.99 price tag

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Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Tab, one of the first tablet computers to challenge Apple Inc.'s smash-hit iPad, is set to land in Verizon Wireless stores on Nov. 11 and sell for $599.99.

Verizon said Wednesday it would offer optional 3G data plans for the Galaxy Tab starting at 1 gigabyte of data for $20 a month.

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The Galaxy Tab features a 7-inch touch screen and will run on Google’s Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’ operating system.

AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. will also offer the Galaxy Tab, with their own 3G data plans, at a later as-yet-unannounced date.

The Galaxy Tab’s $600 price point edges in just below Apple’s price of $629 for a 3G-ready iPad, which has a larger 9.7-inch screen.

Currently, iPad owners can access 3G service only through AT&T’s network.

But Apple’s Wi-Fi-only iPad models will arrive in Verizon stores on Oct. 28, bundled with Verizon’s MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, which can tap into the wireless carrier’s 3G service to broadcast a local Wi-Fi signal.

The market for tablet computers is heating up.

Research In Motion Ltd. announced its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in September. The PlayBook will feature a 7-inch touch screen as well as front and rear cameras, and run on a new BlackBerry operating system. It is expected to hit stores in early 2011.

The Galaxy Tab also has front and rear cameras, which can be used for snapping photos or video chatting with friends. The iPad, for now, has no cameras.

Apple has sold about 7.5 million iPads since the devices arrived in stores in April.

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles


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