Apple Negotiating with AT&T, Verizon for Tablet Wireless

| Rumor

Apparently Apple is still negotiating with both AT&T and Verizon for its rumored tablet's wireless data service even though the device is set to be introduced in less than a week. Unnamed sources from the cell service providers have reported that Apple plans to let users choose which wireless service their tablet works with, according to Fox News.

If true, that means Apple is planning on releasing two versions of its tablet device since AT&T and Verizon rely on different technologies for their wireless data services.

According to Verizon's unnamed source, Apple's tablet will offer Wi-Fi support, along with wireless data over the company's cell network, and free Wi-Fi at Verizon hotspots.

There isn't, however, any word on how much the service will cost customers. Verizon spokesperson Jeff Nelson has said the company is considering offering tiered pricing for tablet service, but didn't say if that included Apple's rumored device.

AT&T isn't offering up additional details, either, but is claiming that its wireless network is in a much better position to handle heavy wireless data usage than Verizon's.

Even with all of the leaks surrounding Apple's fabled tablet device, the Cupertino-based company hasn't yet confirmed its existence -- but that could change on January 27. Apple has scheduled a special media event for the day and is widely expected to finally unveil its tablet computer.

Be sure to check in with The Mac Observer on January 27 for our coverage of Apple's product announcements.

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Comments

Lee Dronick

“If true, that means Apple is planning on releasing two versions of its tablet device since AT&T and Verizon rely on different technologies for their wireless data services.”

Jeff, could Apple have the circuitry for both services built into one tablet? Would it be cost effective and not add much to the weight to the device?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Given what Apple thought it would be paying Nokia for the 3G patents licenses, $10-$20/unit each to Nokia and Qualcomm if both technologies are included.

This tablet thing sounds like a very risky play. Unless man-purses bust out of the metrosexual niche, it’s too big for guys to lug around unless they have a reason to. And nobody in their right mind is going to sign up for a $50/month contract data plan unless they plan to use it.

poothrowingmoki

Why must there be a carrier involved?  Will I be able to get the tablet with only wifi access?  Why must there be more money involved then there has to be,  I would just like to pay for a device and not have to be tied to a monthly payment!  If the case is I would have to buy a carrier package I am no longer interested in this product

Jeff Gamet

Sir Harry - You’re right: Apple could include both technologies in a single device. I have to wonder, however, how happy Verizon or AT&T would be with a device that users could easily take to the other network. I’m betting both companies want some kind of lock-in, and that could come in the form of two versions of the tablet.

poothrowingmonki - A Wi-Fi only tablet sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea to me, but I think the lack of roaming wireless data access would be seen as a big limitation in the market—regardless of whether or not it really is. I’d prefer to see a Kindle-style no-pay service, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the cell companies are pushing for a pay service instead.

Lee Dronick

Why must there be a carrier involved?? Will I be able to get the tablet with only wifi access?? Why must there be more money involved then there has to be,? I would just like to pay for a device and not have to be tied to a monthly payment!? If the case is I would have to buy a carrier package I am no longer interested in this product

We do not yet know any of its details, wait until it is announced before making a firm decision to be interested or not.

Lee Dronick

The iPhone probably made a lot of money for AT&T and want to keep it coming. Verizon is probably having decliner’s remorse for not accepting Apple’s offer to handle the iPhone. Now with the tablet Apple may be playing both services to get the best deal for themselves, and hopefully us.

Crit

Bosco, thanks for the cost estimate.  However, I disagree with you on your success estimate.

As it is “smart phones” are already too big.  I will consider dropping my “smart phone” for an ipad and use Skype and a Bluetooth headset.  The screen size is the key for it ramps up the usable functionality drastically.  Additionally, even for those that will keep their smart phone the ipad is a great laptop replacement for the vast majority of laptop users.  Many business laptop users only use them for web and email.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

My iPhone fits in the cell phone pocket of my long shorts and comfortably in the side pocket of gym shorts. I have seen many people at the gym go armband with their iPhones and Crackberries. It’s a disturbing trend of course, but it makes some functional sense. You can’t do either with a tablet. Maybe Apple is going after the always growing hefty segment? grin

Insaneneo

I say Jailbreak your iphone and teather it to your tablet!!!!  If you can even see past the marketing hype!!  It sounds cool BUT if you have an iphone and are CREATIVE you can make a lot of these NEW features a reality in gadgets you already have!!!!!!

Constable Odo

What’s with this man-purse/murse/man-bag thing?  You could put a tablet in a knapsack or a zipcase just like you would a paperback book or a netbook.  I don’t see why carrying a tablet would cause so many problems.  I see people carrying netbooks in their hands, so why would a tablet be that different.  A tablet case could be see-through and have a shoulder strap or it could have a handle like an briefcase has, and it doesn’t exactly make it look like a purse a woman might use.  A tablet case would be a tablet case and nothing more.

There have been weirder fashions for men such as platform shoes, wide lapels and ultra-wide bellbottom pants.  I grew up in that 70’s era and that’s the way many people dressed.  I honestly don’t see what’s so odd about having a tablet case.  Messengers have been using satchels for years.  A tablet could really start a whole new trend in various satchel designs.

Lee Dronick

A tablet could really start a whole new trend in various satchel designs.

For about a year now I have been using a manly looking satchel for my MacBook and books. Olive drab canvass with metal hardware, thick and wide shoulder strap, it has a kind of a vintage military look to it. Unlike most such bags that are in landscape mode this one is in portrait mode, like an oversized map case.  I picked it up at Target.

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