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2/8/2012
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Phoenix Suns Pick Samsung Galaxy Tab Over iPad

The NBA's Phoenix Suns are adopting Samsung's 10.1-inch Android tablet with Verizon 4G for use by players, coaches, and staff.

Enterprise Tablet Shootout
Enterprise Tablet Shootout
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Verizon Wireless and Samsung Mobile today announced that the Phoenix Suns are the first NBA franchise to adopt a wireless tablet into both their on-court and off-court operations. Is this a slam-dunk decision for the Suns?

According to Verizon, Suns head coach Alvin Gentry and his staff will use the Galaxy Tab to prepare the team for games and other aspects of managing the players. Every player on the team will get their own Tab, complete with the Suns' playbook, video from team practices/games, and scouting reports on upcoming opponents. It will also help keep the team on time, as it will hold the master itinerary for road games and associated travel.

Verizon and Samsung note that using the tablet instead of reams of paper to manage the teams' travel plans will help the environment.

"Today's announcement marks the beginning of a new era in the NBA, where I think teams throughout the league will want to integrate a tablet into their operations," said Gentry. Surely, tablets are a natural replacement for the playbooks often used by coaches, but they won't be allowed on the bench for the players to use during games.

It's not just the coaches and players receiving tablets. The Suns are targeting the Tab for use across a wide swath of the franchise.

[ The Suns aren't the only Galaxy fans. American Airlines also chose Samsung's tablet to serve as an entertainment device for some of its business- and first-class customers. Read Samsung Tablets Added To Some American Airlines Flights. ]

It will be used for business development opportunities, client and season ticketholder presentations, and in-game promotional programs. The franchise will use the Tab throughout the US Airways Center on game nights to do things such as showing interactive seat views and more. Of course, the Suns won't be leaving out social media--the Tab will be used in various TV and radio broadcasts as a new way to interact digitally with fans and game attendees.

"Our organization has always placed a priority on remaining at the forefront of digital innovation within the sports industry," said Suns President Brad Casper. "Utilizing the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network to integrate the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 into our daily operations is yet another great digital milestone for the Suns."

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 being used by the Suns is the same model that Verizon Wireless has offered with LTE 4G since about mid-2011. It has a 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 pixels, weighs 1.25 pounds, is powered by dual-core 1GHz processors, and has both 3- and 2-megapixel cameras on board. The companies didn't specify which version of Android the Tab is running, but it is presumably Honeycomb 3.2 and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The team didn't say how much it is planning to spend on equipping employees and players with the Tab, nor how much it will spend on Verizon's LTE 4G services.

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