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Galaxy Tab released first in the region before iPad

Both VIVA Kuwait and VIVA Bahrain announced the official availability of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet in the Middle East. However VIVS’s partner in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Telecom Company – STC, did not announce anything.

The Arabic VIVA Kuwait’s press release included comments on how the Galaxy Tab is designed to support Arabic while the English press release had no mention of Arabic language support. Arabic is still not supported officially in Android devices even after over 2 years of the release of the first Android device, HTC G1.

With this Samsung has managed to beat the Apple in releasing a tablet device in the Middle East officially. Of course there are a lot of iPads sold in the region but they are all non-official and will not be supported by ABM. Mobily, who announced in April 2010 that they will launch the iPad in Saudi Arabia, did not announce anything until now.

Here is VIVA Kuwait’s press release:

VIVA Kuwait, the First to Introduce Samsung, GALAXY Tab in Kuwait

Samsung GALAXY Tab introduces a new dimension of mobile technology convergence
Kuwait, November X, 2010 – VIVA Kuwait, the most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait, and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in mobile technology, today announced the launch of the Samsung GALAXY Tab (Model: GT-P1000). Powered by Android Operating System, the GALAXY Tab is the first tablet, ‘smart media device’ by Samsung, allowing consumers to enjoy more possibilities on the go.
VIVA Kuwait will be offering Samsung GALAXY Tab for free with its postpaid and internet packages. The GALAXY Tab will be exclusively available in all VIVA branches from November 10, 2010.
With this exclusive promotional offer, VIVA Kuwait allows its customers to experience an outstanding smart media device to lead a new media revolution. With Samsung GALAXY Tab, users enjoy full web browsing with flash 10.1 support, reading eBooks, newspapers, or magazines, voice and video calls and watching HD videos on the large enough 7-inch display while on the move.

And from VIVA Bahrain’s website:

Samsung Galaxy Tab

This is your opportunity to be amongst the first in Bahrain to own the new Samsung Galaxy Tab. The 7-inch tablet is portable yet powerful. Enjoy rich connections to all the entertainment and information you want with:

7-inch multi-touch screen
Mobile video chat
Web browsing with flash
Android 2.2

Exclusively offered to you by VIVA with:

3 months free subscription on VIVA postpaid10, and
3 GB free data every month

For only BD300.

When will ABM finally release the iPad in the Middle East? The market is already full of gray market iPads and demand is still high for the Apple tablet.

Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.

Please follow SaudiMac on Twitter and add SaudiMac on Facebook.

Remember to visit We Want Apple Saudi Arabia petition and spread the word.

About Khaled A.


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