A non-exclusive, open Android tablet – a vision into a world without carrier control?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be released in the US next month, as you know, but who knew that Best Buy wanted in on the action?

The store is already advertising the 7-inch Android 2.2 tablet in both a silver WiFi-only variety and WiFi + 3G versions from Verizon (black) and Sprint (silver).

This is what I like to see: retail stores advertising devices, branding that is based on the device and not the wireless carrier, and devices available with WiFi only or with 3G connections from a range of wireless carriers. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab also available with AT&T and T-Mobile in addition to Verizon and Sprint, we are getting closer to a world where people can get the device they want, AND the carrier they want. All we need now is to get the smaller and rural carriers in the game on the same terms, and to extend the model to smartphones. Then we might see competition on price and quality of wireless service, and devices that compete to be more open and better platforms for speech, innovation, and democracy – it’s a good future, if only we can get there.

[Note: I am still concerned about the price point, echoing the post below – I don’t know how well it will do in the market if only for that reason, though I do expect San Francisco and Manhattan users to be excited about using a data network not run by AT&T. My ebullience is driven more by policy and precedent than by optimism as to the market success of this specific device at this price point.]

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