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Apple rushing tablet talks with AT&T and Verizon?

updated 11:30 pm EST, Thu January 21, 2010

Apple tablet may not have settled carriers yet

Apple has two US carriers in mind for its rumored tablet but is even now still negotiating deals, a late leak says. Insiders at AT&T and Verizon alike tell Fox News that they're both discussing terms to supply 3G for the device but that neither deal has been finalized with less than a week left before the unveiling. Versions have been developed for data on both AT&T's HSPA and Verizon's EVDO, however, and would likely use free Wi-Fi hotspot service from their respective carriers.

Pricing isn't settled, but Verizon would allegedly at least consider using tiered pricing based on bandwidth, not unlike what it asks today for non-phone devices. Current 3G modem and netbook users on Verizon can either pay $40 per month for a small 250MB of transfers or jump to $60 for 5GB.

Additionally, Apple has reportedly been talking to Verizon about an iPhone deal, but unlike claims in other rumors, this would not involve an early release. The contacts associated with the carrier instead would put the phone's launch in late spring or early summer, likely arriving alongside AT&T's version.

While launching without a complete deal is not necessarily Apple's common practice and the rumor itself is yet to be confirmed, the company followed a somewhat similar strategy for the iPhone as it announced AT&T (then Cingular) as the carrier in January 2007 but only outlined plans much closer to the actual launch. Also, Apple will not necessarily need to develop two different hardware revisions as it can potentially use dual-mode chipsets such as the Qualcomm Gobi to provide EVDO and HSPA, which could let a single hardware design simply be toggled to use the appropriate carrier through software.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple is going to hit a grand slam if

    they bring both the iPhone and tablet to both carriers. Even if only one of the devices ends up on Verizon, that's going to be a good deal of extra revenue in Apple's pocket.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wifi and tethering

    Apple has to realize there are millions of iPhone users who already pay $75+ a month. Asking them to pay an additional $60 a month for a new dedicated 3G line is asking A LOT. AT&T really needs to get off its butt and let iPhone users tether the tablet.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Really? At this late hour?

    That's bad: the telcos must know they have a bit of an upper hand since Apple is going to be anxious to cut a deal with only a few days left.

    Also, I can't imagine Apple is going to release two different tablets to be compatible with each of them, because if you switch telcos you're stuck. It's gotta be just one model to handle both.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple anxious?

    Vzw & att have the upper hand? They could release it without cell connectivity enabled, or delay it until they get the points they want.

    I personally couldn't give a flying front door about cell service, i have an iPhone, i'd use an iPad for more robust apps & let my aging iBook take a break.

    - A

  1. bonaccij

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think tying this “tablet” to a carrier is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. They should just do what all the other Netbook makers do, put in a dual chipset and let the consumer decide. I have an iPhone with AT&T and I’m not going to get a 3G plan with Verizon just because they offer that. Heck, I won’t even get a 3G contract for this thing with AT&T. Actually, I think 3G on a computing device is idiotic. There are so many hot spots around why, in (insert deity’s name here) name would you want to bother with the crappy speeds of 3G?

    I dunno.. just my 2 cents...

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    has to be a cellphone too

    I'm not talking about putting the entire thing up to your face...that would be hilarious, but what, I mean, with a blu tooth headset, be able to answer a call, talk.

    The Slate (I sure hope they drop the 'i' and just call it the slate)...would then just remain in your purse, briefcase, or however you planned to carry the thing.

    Without the ability to be a phone, the tablet has lost a lot of value, and requires someone to carry 2 devices...which many, including myself of course, will not do. It's true, I bought a laptop, and don't carry it around - but the laptop doesn't have a monthly service fee either.

    This device is a 'must carry around' device, otherwise, what would be the point of 3g has to have cellphone functionality, period, end of story :)

  1. Drunken Economist

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free tether to existing iPhone

    Apple and ATT really need to reward what customers they have.

    Times are NOT GOOD. As others have said, Apple should make this dual band and let the customers decide on carrier.

    For their faithful iPhone users, the new OS versions of iPhone and the upcoming iPad should have a 'pairing feature' that allows tether to the iPad.

    That dovetails nicely with kids who have an iPhone from Mom & Dad, going to school with homework on their iPad, connecting to the 'net using either the school wireless or when out of range, via tethering to their iPhone.

    Business users who have a laptop and a company expense account? You guys get to pay.

    I can dream, right? I wonder if anyone at ATT has a heart? Or if Apple employees actually **

    -Drunken Economist

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