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4G Tablets Speed Into The Market For Q4

NEW YORK – New 4G-equipped tablets from Samsung and Google hit the market in mid-November while the industry waited for the delayed launch of the 4G LTE versions of Apple’s iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad.

In Wi-Fi-only tablets, Google launched the Samsungmade Android 4.2 10-inch Nexus 10 on Nov. 13 at $399 for the 16GB version and at $499 for the 32GB version. And in early November, Google began selling the Wi-Fionly Nexus 7 7-inch tablet, equipped with Android 4.1, on the Google Play store in 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($249) versions.

Meantime, Barnes & Noble dropped the price on two carryover Wi-Fi tablets following Nov. 1 availability of its first two HD-resolution tablets, the 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+, both with Wi-Fi.

Key 4G LTE tablet introductions include the stylus-capable Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which is offered by Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. Another LTE tablet is the Samsung Intel-based ATIV Smart PC for the AT&T network.

For 4G HSPA+21 networks, Google launched an unlocked cellular-equipped Nexus 7.

At AT&T, the carrier priced the Ativ Smart PC at $799, a price that features an Intel processor, Windows 8 OS and detachable keyboard.

The Ativ Smart PC also features an 11.6-inch HD PLS display, 64GB of internal storage memory, MicroSD slot to support up to an additional 32GB of memory, and Intel Atom dual-core processor up to 1.5GHz. It comes installed with Windows 8 but can be upgraded to Windows 8 Pro. It is also backward compatible with all existing software and applications that run on older Windows OSs such as Windows 7, Vista, and XP. ATIV smart PC also comes preloaded with a trial version of Microsoft Office 2010.

Ativ is Samsung’s brand for Windows 8 products, including Smart PCs, tablets and Windows Phone 8 for smartphones.

Among Android tablets, the 4G-equipped Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with Android 4.0 is available from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

AT&T was the first to offer the Tab 2 10.1 with LTE on Nov. 9 at $499. Sprint launched the LTE version on Nov. 11 at $549, making it the carrier’s first LTE tablet. T-Mobile launched a 4G HSPA+ version on Nov. 14 at $349 after a $50 mail-in rebate and Classic data plan. Activated on T-Mobile’s lower-cost Value plan, the tablet cost $199 up front plus 20 monthly payments of $15/month.

A Wi-Fi-only version of the Tab 2 10.1 became available earlier this year.

In other Wi-Fi tablets, Barnes & Noble reduced the price of its year-old 7-inch Nook Tablet by $20 to $159 for the 8GB model and $179 for the 16GB model. The two-year-old 7-inch Nook Color went to $139 from $149.