The curious case of the Samsung Galaxy Note, and it’s larger sibling, the Galaxy Tab 7.7, is one that we’ve been following closely. These two awesome devices were announced to great enthusiasm a few months back at IFA, but their official launch dates were left unspecified. Although I was put off by the Samsung Galaxy Note inititally, I must say that the idea of a pocketable device with accurate digital ink input is rather appealing, even if it wouldn’t work so well in one hand. The real issue, however, is how do we get our hands on one?
At the moment, the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 go completely without mention on Samsung’s US site. Back during IFA, GottaBeMobile reported some dubious news from Samsung — that the company had “no plans” for a US launch of these devices. Some have interpreted this to mean that Samsung didn’t yet have specifics nailed down for the region, and others think Samsung is saying outright that they won’t be launching in the US. Whatever the case, it’s clear that they are taking a regional approach to distribution of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7.
In the US, it doesn’t seem like the Samsung Galaxy Note, or the Galaxy Tab 7.7, will be launching — not immediately anyway. I’ve got a good feeling that Samsung knows that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 would be good in the US, after all, the original Galaxy Tab is considered to be one of the best selling Android tablets to date, and it was widely available in the US. As for the Galaxy Note, it would seem as though Samsung doesn’t want to push it into the region so soon after they made a big deal about the Galaxy S II which has recently become available across all major US carriers. There’s also the Apple patent cases to consider.
While we can’t be sure that it’s any indication of availability, a brief survey of some of Samsung’s regional sites shows that the device is at least sufficiently featured on their Germany, Finland, Netherlands, and Denmark sites.
For those of us in the US, we’ll need to rely on importers until Samsung decides that it’s time to bring the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 to the US for an official launch.
Tech importer Expansys has both devices available for pre-order, but neither are likely to be cheap enough for anyone but extreme early-adopters and ultra-niche users. The Galaxy Note is currently listed by Expansys at a steep $945. Expansys has not yet announced a price for the Galaxy Tab 7.7, but is accepting pre-orders.
I’m hoping to see these prices come down some by the time they are actually shipping imported and unlocked units to US customers, but without official sales channels (and thus carrier subsidies), it’s going to be hard to push the prices down on these bits of top-end hardware.
A quick search for some other imports reveals cheaper prices, however, you should always do your research before buying an import!