Verizon to get Apple's 3G iPad, too

Likely in April, when Apple refreshes the tablet, says analyst

Verizon will sell and support a new version of the iPad that can directly connect to the carrier's 3G data network, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Late Tuesday, the publication's Web site cited comments by Verizon Chief Financial Officer Francis Shammo during an interview that day at the unveiling of an Apple iPhone able to use Verizon's voice and data networks.

Verizon has sold the iPad -- both the Wi-Fi and 3G models -- since late October 2010. To support the 3G-capable version, Verizon has bundled a credit card-sized MiFi device with the tablet that lets users create a short-range Wi-Fi hotspot. Data plans for the MiFi start at $15 a month.

Currently, only AT&T supports the 3G hardware built into the more expensive iPad models.

Although Shammo did not share a timeline with Bloomberg, one Wall Street analyst said the most likely launch of a 3G iPad for Verizon's CDMA-based data network would be when Apple refreshes the tablet this spring.

"I don't have any specific insight on timing, but from a logistical standpoint, it would make sense for the iPad 2 to support both AT&T and Verizon in the U.S.," said Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. "If I'm accurate on the April timeframe [for the debut of the iPad 2], that makes the most sense."

Previously, Marshall and other analysts have said that Apple will launch new iPads annually , as it does with the iPhone, putting the expected debut of what most are calling the iPad 2 in early April, a year after the original's on-sale date.

According to Marshall, the iPad 2 will closely resemble the current tablet, but will include a pair of cameras to allow users to run FaceTime, Apple's video calling software that launched last summer with the iPhone 4.

A 3G-capable iPad for Verizon would boost Apple's sales, said Marshall, because the early trend of customers picking the less-expensive Wi-Fi models has shifted to where over 50 per cent of sales are now of the 3G tablet.

"Verizon will help iPad sales, especially from a business user's standpoint," argued Marshall. "iPad buyers are increasingly migrating to more mobility, and picking the 3G."

Marshall's current iPad sales estimate for 2011 is 25 million units, a number he called conservative. "A more realistic number is 30 to 35 million," he said.

iPad sales will slump this quarter, Marshall continued, citing the slowness of the season and the "Osborne effect," a term that describes falling sales of a soon-to-be-replaced model.

The phrase came into play in the 1980s, when Adam Osborne announced a new, much-improved version of his transportable computer, the Osborne-1, long before the replacement was ready. Sales of the Osborne-1 slowed as the news spread, and the company demise was inaccurately attributed to the gaffe.

If Apple keeps to its usual pace for mobile product announcements, it will unwrap the new iPad several weeks before the tablet is available to buyers.

Earlier today, Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, seemed to confirm that when he said his sources pegged the iPad 2 announcement for Feb. 1 , just over three weeks from today and approximately two months before the expected on-sale date.

Rose, whose predictions on Apple are often on target, told subscribers to his Foundation newsletter that, "If you're thinking of buying an iPad, hold off for now."

Verizon did not reply to a request for confirmation of Shammo's comments to Bloomberg.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags wirelessAppleNetworkingat&twireless networkingMacintoshMobile Apps and Services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?