United States Cellular Corp. (NYSE:USM)
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5 Years : From Oct 2012 to Oct 2017
T-Mobile USA said it would be first off the block to offer Samsung Electronics Co.'s (SSNHY, 005930.SE) Galaxy Tab tablet computing device, and plans to subsidize the price for those who take a wireless contract.
T-Mobile USA, the U.S. wireless arm of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE.XE), plans to sell the tablet for $399.99 with a two-year service agreement, which is similar to the deal that will be offered by Sprint Nextel Corp. (S). The device is scheduled to sell on Nov. 10, a day before Verizon Wireless, which is selling the Galaxy Tab at the unsubsidized price of $599.99, and four days before Sprint.
T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 U.S. carrier in terms of customers, needs more eye-catching products to spark a turnaround in customer growth. It, along with Sprint, has continued to watch Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. (T) widen their lead as the top two players in the wireless game.
T-Mobile USA has been among the most aggressive in supporting Samsung products. It has prominently featured the Vibrant, one of the Galaxy S phones Samsung has created specifically for the U.S. carriers.
For Samsung, T-Mobile USA's commitment has been a shot in the arm for its mobile business. The company is using the Galaxy S line of phones and Galaxy Tab to cement its position in the high-end smartphone and burgeoning tablet businesses, and has followed the strategy of releasing products for all of the carriers, rather than rely on exclusive agreements.
AT&T is also expected to sell the Galaxy Tab, but hasn't set a date or comment on whether it would subsidize the tablet.
Separately, Samsung released another Galaxy S phone, the Mesmerize, for U.S. Cellular Corp. (USM).
T-Mobile USA, meanwhile, also said it plans to sell Research in Motion Ltd.'s (RIMM) BlackBerry Bold 9780, the carrier's first device to run the updated BlackBerry 6 operating system.
-By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2153; firstname.lastname@example.org