AT&T moving away from offering Wi-Fi only tablets
AT&T American multinational telecommunications corporation is likely to stop the production of Wi-Fi Tablets, as the additional cost of the 3G hardware falls under $30. Instead they will go for tablets that are equipped with cellular radios.
Today most tablets are equipped with Wi-Fi but Apple’s iPad, one of the world’s largest selling tablets comes with cellular radios.
As said by Glen Lurie, president of emerging devices for AT&T they are pretty much satisfied with the sales rate of cellular equipped tablets and data plans that are adopted for them. He also said they are on talking terms with the manufactures to make their product available in 3G or 4G.
Lurie is also planning to start production of Tablets that are on a single design with both cellular and Wi-Fi. This will be possible only if the cost premium gets lower. In fact one model has already been sold in the market. The tablet is known as the Pantech Element and is a combination of both Wi-Fi and LTE and it was priced at $399. Other products are also in the development stages as said by Lurie.
According to him they are going to save the Original Equipment manufacturing and marketing cost, if only one model of each tablet is provided. Lurie feels that it is going to be tough to capture the market with only single design tablets as Apple are dominating the tablet market worldwide. Other tablet manufacturers Android are also thinking of converging on one model but the cost of hardware is still an issue for them.
A solution given by IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell to capture the market with cellular equipped tablets is to provide the data plans that cover more than one device.
As Lurie said, as of now they do not have any data plans but the carrier is studying multiple device plans.