Publishers Hedge with Galaxy Tab, $599 Price May Be Too High

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that many major newspaper publishers are preparing apps for the forthcoming Galaxy Tab (although presumably their existing Android apps would work). It characterizes these efforts as something of a hedge and diversification effort vs. exclusive reliance on the iPad:

Several major news organizations are lining up behind a new tablet device from Samsung Electronics Co. built on Google Inc. software, in order to broaden mobile readership beyond owners of Apple Inc. popular iPad.

New York Times Co. and News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal will offer software applications for Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which goes on sale later this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Gannett Co.'s USA Today also is developing a software application, the publisher said.

The Galaxy Tab is appealing because of it's 7" size, some of its specs and the potential (I believe) to be used as a phone. However it won't fit in your pocket. It remains to be seen how "good" the device is and whether it truly does compete with the iPad. Given the strength of the Galaxy S Android phones it probably will be a strong competitor. 

Yet the price -- a rumored $399 with two-year contract and $599 without -- may turn out to be too high to drive mass adoption. I'm guessing here of course. It depends on the device but I suspect most people will not want to buy another two-year contract and so would go for the "unlocked" version. But the $600 price point, $100 more than the low-end iPad. 

The smaller form factor and less "elegant" Android OS may cause people to see less value in the smaller but more expensive device. A $399 unlocked price point would have been more like it. 

Related: Leap to sell prepaid Android tablet next year