Samsung to Sell Luxury Galaxy Tab for About $1,000, Reports Say

Samsung will soon unveil a luxury Galaxy Tab model that comes with a leather case and Bluetooth headset for about $1,000, according to reports.

Other than the Bluetooth headset and leather case, the luxury version is the same as other Galaxy Tab devices sold by several major U.S. carriers for up to $650 without a service plan or about $400 with a two-year plan from some carriers.

The TG Daily Web site reported that the luxury version was shown recently at Millionaire Fair, a European expo called the that shows off expensive toys and gadgets.

The Web news site said Samsung will officially announce the luxury version on Wednesday. Samsung officials could not be reached for comment on the report.

It's not unusual for a manufacturer to offer a higher-priced version of a smartphone or mobile device. The updated version can include unusual features in the finish of the case, such as polished chrome, or other add-ons.

Such add-ons to the popular Apple iPad can boost the starting $629 price tag by $200 or more. The iPad add-ons include physical keyboards that are incorporated within wrap-around cases that double as iPad stands.

The luxury Galaxy Tab shows how aggressive Samsung has become in its effort to raise its brand awareness in a variety of venues, geographic areas and price points. The company is now the largest manufacturer of mobile devices in the U.S., according to a recent ComScore poll. Samsung sold 1 million of the conventional Galaxy Tab devices less than two months after they went on sale globally and two weeks after going on sale with major U.S. carriers.

The Android OS, which runs the Galaxy Tab, is also the operating system of the Galaxy S phones made by Samsung and sold by all the U.S. carriers. Open source Android is now the fastest growing smartphone operating system, according to the ComScore survey.

Reports indicate that sales of the luxury version, priced at 749 Euros or about $1,000, will only last through January.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .

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For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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