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.