The iTablet, Only from AT&T?

Sep 18 09

The iTablet, Only from AT&T?

Paul Weinstein

Short of some as yet unforeseen issue,
it seems that most Apple rumors these days agree that sometime early
next year, Apple will be releasing a “tablet-like” device to the

The rumored specifications include one
or more devices of varying screen size (between 6 to 10 inches) with
multitouch support, a screen resolution around 720×480, an Apple
designed ARM-based Processor
, WiFi and a long-duration battery.

Rumors also include a built-in 3G HSDPA
chip for accessing the Internet, away from WiFi hotspots, via a cellular carrier that supports
the same data standard.

The cellular data support begs the
question, will Apple’s new device be sold by AT&T with a price

Why do I ask? Well, the current rumors
put this tablet device at anywhere between $600 – $1000. Now ask
yourself, would you pay $1000 for a device that could get lost or
dropped easily? If your going to spend that much would you just
purchase a Macbook? Even at the $600 price-range would you by Apple’s
tablet, a cheap laptop or a netbook?

However a price subsidy could drop the
upfront price for the consumer from $600 – $1000 to $250 – $400.1
But that subsidy would no doubt require a 2-year contract for data
service from AT&T.

That of course begs more questions; If
this new Apple device is indeed getting a price subsidy similar to the
iPhone, one has to ask won’t a successful new Apple device put more
strain on that same AT&T data network that’s supposedly getting
hammered by all those iPhone users

Or, given the high price and resulting
subsidy that AT&T would need to make back, it would suggest that the unlimited data plan for the new Apple device would
be more than the $30 per month rate for the same plan on the iPhone.
That in turn suggests the preclusion of being able to share the
iPhone’s data plan between devices. Will people accept that?

And of course would said device be
exclusive to AT&T?

Lots of questions. Not many answers,
just yet.

1 In
fact AT&T already offers two netbooks for $199 after rebate.