Motorola demonstrated a tablet device running on a Verizon Wireless LTE test network that could debut in the fourth quarter, though its actual market release likely will depend on Verizon's LTE deployment schedule. The demonstration, made at the Consumer Electronics Show, was one of several high-profile devices that have been shown off at the gadget trade show this week in Las Vegas.
The Motorola prototype runs Google's Android platform, has a 7-inch screen, room for 32 GB of internal memory, an Nvidia chipset, and, most importantly, a modem from Motorola. "I can anticipate it being a $300 device but we have to go through the pricing process," Don Schoch, Motorola's director of program management, told Reuters. Verizon plans to deploy 25-30 commercial LTE markets--covering 100 million POPs, this year, but its specific buildout schedule has not yet been made public.
The Motorola tablet was not the only LTE device on hand at the show. Indeed, Samsung too was demonstrating prototype LTE devices at the event, including a media player, digital picture frame and camera. The company highlighted the possibilities of LTE by showing how an LTE-equipped video camera could stream live video over a demo LTE network to the company's LTE-capable media player. A Samsung executive said all the devices could be released commercially for Verizon's LTE network when it launches, but when pressed declined to confirm whether Samsung would in fact sell the devices.
Interestingly, Motorola's tablet was just one of many such slab devices, evidence of a growing trend among manufacturers to push that particular form factor. Dell demonstrated a small slate computer with a 5-inch screen running Android, but declined to provide any pricing details or confirmation that it would be commercially released. Additionally, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer displayed a small touchscreen tablet made HP earlier this week. All of this comes ahead of a widely expected--but still unannounced--Apple tablet, which may sport wide area wireless connectivity.
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