Verizon Wireless is quietly building a major business around tablets, one that could help the carrier maintain its leading position as rivals undercut its prices and overcome its LTE coverage advantage. Verizon's tablet strategy has become significantly clearer during the past several months, and it's definitely an important strategy.
Tablets appear poised to dominate the holiday sales season, according to a number of shopping surveys. The findings could help buoy wireless operators hoping to generate additional data revenues from tablet users who want to connect their device to a cellular network.
Verizon Wireless is offering a financing plan for postpaid customers who want to purchase a cellular-capable tablet. The financing plan dovetails with Verizon's newly introduced shared data plans and is likely is an effort to increase the number of customers who pay $10 per month to attach a tablet to their shared data plan.
This is what makes Amazon's service bundle so interesting. It's not directly being driven by an operator (though AT&T benefits). The data allotment isn't enough for solid 3G or 4G tablet usage; it's not nearly enough to support the multimedia content consumption Amazon is pushing. It may, however, give people a taste of mobile data and and spur them to buy more expensive plans.
Amazon upped the ante in the wireless-enabled tablet space today by introducing the Kindle Fire HD, an 8.9-inch large-screen tablet equipped with LTE that will sell for $499. The new tablet will come with a $50 per year data plan from AT&T, making it the most affordable LTE tablet on the market.
Each top line brand--Google and Microsoft--seeks to replicate the closed ecosystem that Apple enjoys with its market-leading iPad device and iTunes mobile app storefront.
Tablet manufacturers that want to compete with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad need to price their tablets at far less than the $499 iPad 2 price point if they want to generate significant sales.
Cricket carrier Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) said it has discontinued its plan to offer a Wi-Fi-only ViewSonic Android tablet with a 7-inch screen. "We have decided not to deploy it at this time,"
Research in Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) PlayBook tablet suffered another blow as Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) announced it cancelled plans to sell a WiMAX-enabled version of the device. However, RIM responded
Sony Corp., maker of the popular Vaio laptop, announced it will enter the growing tablet computer market later this year with two Android 3.0-based models currently code-named the S1 and the S2. Both