Tablet Market Sizzles With New Developments

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— The tablet market refused to take vacation time as it headed into the Labor Day holiday.

AT&T announced plans for its first 4G tablet, Sony announced pricing and availability of on one of its two new tablets, and Hewlett-Packard said it plans to resume production of a limited quantity of Touch- Pads.

At AT&T, the carrier planned Sept. 4 availability of its first 4G-equipped tablet, the HTC-made Jetstream, which is HTC’s first tablet with Android’s Honeycomb OS. It is equipped with 4G HSPA+ and 4G LTE technology, 10.1-inch WXGA HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core processor, front- and rear-facing cameras, and Wi-Fi video chat.

The tablet was to be available only in AT&T-owned retail stores and the carrier’s online store at $699 with a new two-year contract for a 3GB $35/month data plan. The contract price marks the first time that AT&T is subsidizing a tablet’s price if the customer signs a contract. Consumers, however, can also buy the tablet at an unsubsidized $899 price if they want to get month-tomonth postpaid or month-to-month prepaid plans.

To deliver 4G speeds, the Honeycomb 3.1 device will operate in LTE mode in AT&T’s 700MHz and AWS-band (1.7/2.1GHz) spectrum, in 21Mbps HSPA+ mode in AT&T’s 850/1900MHz bands, and in HSPA+ mode in the foreign 2.1GHz band.

Features include 1080p playback and capture, rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, 1.3-megpixel front-facing camera, and MicroSD slot supporting up to 32GB.

For its part, Sony released pricing and availability of the Wi-Fi-equipped Tablet S tablet but declined to get specific about the price and availability of the foldable Tablet P, which will be available with Wi-Fi and embedded AT&T HSPA+ 4G service. Both tablets use the Android Honeycomb OS, the former using Android 3.1 and the latter using Android 3.2.

The Tablet S, available in 16GB and 32GB versions, is available for preorder and will be on store shelves in September at suggested retails of $499 and $599, respectively.

The Tablet P will ship sometime later this year. As an AT&T executive previously stated, the device will “leverage Sony and AT&T distribution.”

The chassis of the S, unlike other tablets, features a tapered depth that shifts weight closer to the user’s palm, making it more comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

Except for memory capacity, both versions of the S offer the same features, including Android 3.1 OS, upgradability to Android 3.2, 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 9.4-inch display, SD card slot, USB 2.0 port, front- and rear-facing cameras, videochat, Bluetooth connectivity, and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n.

The Tablet features two 5.5-inch screens that fold together, enabling it to be easily carried. At Hewlett- Packard, the company announced it would temporarily change course and release more TouchPads after having announced that it would exit the tablet and smartphone businesses.

On Aug. 30, the company said it “will be at least a few weeks before we have a limited quantity available again.”

TouchPad supplies at retail quickly ran out after HP cut the retail price to $99 to clear out excess retail-level inventory. “We are working to make more available as soon as possible,” the company said.


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