Samsung to show off Android 2.2-based tablet next month

Reports say P1000 Galaxy Tab, with 7-inch touchscreen and video chat, will be displayed at IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin

Samsung is expected to show off an Android-based tablet dubbed the P1000 Galaxy Tab at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin next month, according to multiple reports. The tablet is said to feature a 7-inch touchscreen and offer live video chat capabilities.

Fuzzy photos of the P1000 Galaxy Tab device first materialized in June on AndroidCommunity.com. Since then, clearer photos of the Samsung tablet spread through the Web.

The reports compare the new device to Samsung's Galaxy S line of phones, on which the Tab is based.

Conflicting reports have the Tab running either a 1-GHz or a 1.2-GHz processor.

Samsung would not comment on the reports.

With both front- and rear-facing cameras, which make it possible to engage in video chats, the Tab could have an advantage over the iPad, which has a 9.7-inch screen. Sales of the Apple device have topped 3 million units since it first went on sale in April.

Basing the Tab on the Galaxy line of phones "is not much of a stretch for Samsung," said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J.Gold Associates, who has predicted that a number of Android tablets from several manufacturers will appear before the end of the year.

"But the real question is how well an Android tablet will sell?" Gold asked.

Gold said the success of Android phones will be based on price and which carriers offer them. The Android market would have a considerably brighter future, Gold added, if Android devices were sold in Best Buy retail stores.

The Android-based Dell Streak, which features a 5-inch screen and has voice capabilities, went on sale Aug. 13.

The Streak runs Android 1.6 while the Samsung Tab would run Version 2.2. The Streak sells for $300 with a two-year AT&T contract -- a price some analysts have criticized as being too high.

Engadget and other sites have found the Samsung Galaxy Tablet on a U.K. carrier Vodafone's inventory list, indicating that it could first be offered in Great Britain.

Dell's Streak was available in the U.K. before it was available in the U.S.

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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