Verizon prices Samsung Tab just under iPad

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. mobile service, plans to sell Samsung Electronics’s Galaxy Tab for $30 less than Apple Inc’s iPad, but analysts say the new tablet computer is priced too high.

A Verizon Wireless store is seen in Westminster, Colorado April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, said on Wednesday that it will sell the Tab for $599.99 on November 11. It will also charge a $20 fee per gigabyte of data downloaded.

The announcement comes days after Verizon said it would also start selling the Wi-Fi version of the iPad later this month for $629.99, including an accessory that allows users to connect its network.

Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said the Verizon Tab’s price is too high because consumers will view iPad as a better product.

The Tab is just one of several products due to compete with the iPad in the burgeoning tablet computing market. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is planning to launch its PlayBook next year. The market is expected to be price sensitive.

“Competitors coming into the market have to offer something better, different or cheaper,” said Greengart, adding that a price tag of less than $400 would have been better.

He noted that the Tab has advantages over the iPad, including a camera, support for Adobe Systems’ Flash technology and smaller size. But Apple’s strong brand name, iPad’s arrival on the market first, and its bigger selection of applications gives the iPad a head start on the Tab.

Greengart said that the smaller screen, while easier to carry, should also make the Tab cheaper than an iPad.

“Tab feels solid in your hand but without the app store behind it and with a smaller screen they can’t charge the same amount as the iPad,” Greengart said.

Other operators planning to sell the Tab include AT&T Inc, which also sells iPad; T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom; and Sprint Nextel.

Samsung is letting each operator set their own pricing for the Tab, so Verizon’s price for the tab could potentially be undercut by its rivals, which have yet to announce pricing.

Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Derek Caney