Why the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are Wi-Fi only

The cheap tablets coming to market next week from Amazon and Barnes & Noble will only connect to Wi-Fi networks, and the likely reasons are because both companies are heavily focused on pushing content and see their devices being used for massive amounts of video, games and other media, analysts say.

Amazon will bring to market the Kindle Fire for $200, while Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet will cost $250.

"Amazon and Barnes & Noble want people to spend money on their content, not on [carrier] data plans to keep the tablets connected," Tom Mainelli, an analyst at IDC, told Computerworld. "So I don't think they have much interest in offering 3G/4G-enabled media tablets... IDC research shows that the vast majority of tablet owners use their tablets in places where Wi-Fi is readily available. That's mostly at home, but also in coffee shops, hotels and the office."

IDC also found that among those who buy a 3G/4G-ready tablet "a relatively small percentage turn on the cellular radio and use it on an ongoing basis." Many tablet owners are loathe to add another data plan, Mainelli said.

For more:
- see this Computerworld article

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