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AT&T sees Wi-Fi only tablets going the way of the dinosaur

AT&T sees Wi-Fi only tablets going the way of the dinosaur
"All devices should have all capabilities built in from the beginning.The ecosystem was a little out of balance."-Glenn Lurie
We could see tablet makers eliminate the Wi-Fi only models if AT&T President of Emerging Devices Glenn Lurie is correct. Lurie says that the price of adding 3G connectivity has been coming down and that adding a 3G HSPA+ radio to a tablet costs only $30, while it costs $60 to $70 to add an LTE radio. As the price continues to drop, Lurie sees tablet manufacturers dropping the production of Wi-Fi only tablets and instead, offering devices with both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. Speaking at CTIA, Lurie said this would work out better for consumers, carriers and manufacturers. AT&T is said to be discussing with tablet producers the idea of making units with both cellular and Wi-Fi support although the carrier says it is happy with the current sales rate of cellular-equipped tablets.

AT&T's Glenn Lurie

AT&T's Glenn Lurie

Considering that the big player in the tablet market is Apple, it might require the Cupertino based firm to make the first move before others follow. That might be difficult considering that as of March, the majority of Apple iPads sold were of the Wi-Fi only kind. Even on 3G and 4G enabled Apple iPads, the majority of web traffic comes via a Wi-Fi connection. With that thought in mind, it might be some time before Wi-Fi only tablets become extinct. Apple adds $130 to the price of its tablet for a cellular connection vs. $50 for other manufacturers. But even if it cost only $30 to add a 3G connection to a tablet, Bob O'Donnell, an analyst at IDC, says that with OEMs "sweating over nickels and quarters," even that amount is too much for them to justify adding 3G connectivity. O'Donnell says that carriers should open up data plans that cover more than one device and that will have consumers rushing to the stores to buy 3G or 4G enabled tablets.

source: Macworld via electronista

  • Options

posted on 09 May 2012, 23:31 14

1. Sailingmaster (Posts: 24; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

Hey Glenn, or Moron. Have you looked at what you charge for Mobile Broadband? So about that... WiFi tablets aren't going anywhere anytime soon. At least not for AT&T customers.

posted on 10 May 2012, 00:56 9

9. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

The folks at AT&T must be taking stupid pills each day. The moment they dropped unlimited data, WiFi's future was assured. Consumers are not going to willingly let carriers pick their pocket with overage charges. WiFi is how the consumer can fight back against carriers' tiered data plans.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:30 5

23. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1287; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

Absolutely.....I was looking at a Samsung Tab 10.1 and to get a carrier 3g/4g version I would be paying 89.00 a month for 24 months almost $1800.00 more just by being subscription based.....Hell to the NO! Buy a wifi unit for $349-$649.00 out right and save your money. If I need connections on the go I have a smart phone I am getting nickel and dimed on!

posted on 09 May 2012, 23:36 12

2. imkyle (Posts: 1086; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

Motorola Xoom on Verizon still has honeycomb while the Wi-Fi model has the latest ice cream sandwich update. Enough said. Get a grip.

posted on 09 May 2012, 23:40 7

3. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

If you get rid of wi-fi only tablets the tablet market will lose a lot of growth. Not all of us have the money to pay for data on our phones and tablets.

posted on 09 May 2012, 23:42 2

4. AndroidShiz (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)

Yup. And Google is the reason for your slow Android updates for all your Androids. Speaking of awesome advice, att should do like Nokia and just sell Windows phones, heck maybe even invest heavily in BlackBerry. They are the future to att growth. That and 4g tablets are a win win.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:36 2

24. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1287; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

I think Windows 8 pads will be the pads to own in the future....mark my words. Being able to extend my desk top tower from anywhere in the home and on the go will reign supreme.

Windows will change the way the tab direction goes if they do wifi, and integrate phones, tablets, desktops, with the Kinect, Xbox Live, Home security, all to Home server. The UI should be consistent, and rolled out at the same time for all devices!

BTW Carriers different versions are responsible for slow Android roll outs. Carriers want to control what you can and cant do with a phone, like messaging, and things like voice chat because they want to nickel and dime you for those services to bolster their stock. Google wanted to give that all away for free, but these companies want to monetize that stuff for big profits...i.e. throttling for higher contract fees. So they block those features and keep you from hacking to keep them blocked for ever, and then offer those services fro free.

Imagine on your internet subscription at home they try to make you pay for I.M. messages, and video chat.

posted on 09 May 2012, 23:51 6

5. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

Yes we need to be locked into more contracts and add more things to our monthly bills. Uh no dont think so.

posted on 10 May 2012, 00:14 5

6. Goldeneye (Posts: 419; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)

You wish! No Wi-Fi model? Good luck selling those things.

posted on 10 May 2012, 00:26 3

7. Giggity (Posts: 147; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Geez, more nonsense from AT&T? Seems like they all having a good time with their little Woodstock party this week.

posted on 10 May 2012, 00:33 3

8. rayman173 (Posts: 61; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

WTH has this guy been drinking.....not everyone wants to be locked into a contract with a 3G/4G model.....plus not everyone has the data plan for one.....cmon now a little thinking might help once in a while

posted on 10 May 2012, 02:07 2

10. jlscott777 (Posts: 45; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

I am a printed circuit board designer and I can tell you $30.00 for a single part is huge when talking a hundred thousand units, let alone the numbers of Ipads that are going out there, the manufacturing guys worry about 30 cent parts, it will be a long time before they can just throw in an LTE radio and not raise the price of the final product.

posted on 10 May 2012, 03:28 4

11. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

NO. my sweet sweet Asus Prime is doing so well, and having a 3G or 4G tablet for me is too wasteful since I am on prepaid.

posted on 10 May 2012, 04:50 1

12. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Statements like this as well as AT&T's dubious customer service and outrageous data prices make me wonder why they are the US' largest carrier. I'll admit to not having looked into the matter at all, but seriously, it seems like nobody ever has anything good to say about AT&T, and from the latest deluge of comments from their CEO et al, I can't say I blame them.

posted on 10 May 2012, 06:39

14. alx33 (Posts: 32; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

Verizon is the world's largest carrier and they're WAY more overpriced.

posted on 10 May 2012, 07:29 5

17. bigbmc26 (Posts: 43; Member since: 10 May 2012)

Uh, the "world's" largest carrier would be China Mobile with more than 655 million subcribers. Don't think Verizon is any where near close to that, buddy. Verizon has the most subcribers in the US...

posted on 10 May 2012, 07:53 4

18. tedkord (Posts: 14121; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Really? I've got 3 smartphones (Thunderbolt and a pair of Droid2's), unlimited data and texting on all three, 1400 shared minutes with unlimited calling to 10 Friends and Family and all VZW numbers for $158/month (not including taxes).

On ATT, it would run me $189 with only 300mb per phone.
On T-Mo, $205 with 2gb full speed, but unlimited talk
On Sprint, $180 with 1500 minutes

I get an employer discount on my primary line of 19%, I'm not sure what discount I'd get on the others. It saves me $21 a month, so with out it I'd be looking at $179, on par with Sprint for cheapest.

posted on 10 May 2012, 16:44

28. greathero1 (Posts: 576; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)

Thats b/c you are on an older plan. 2gb of data for 3 users is $90 now. 1400 minutes with unlimited text for 3 users is $129. Verizon is high as hell dude. Good that you got in when you did. The good thing about ATT is that you can actually go with the 700 minute plan and adding family text for $30 will get you unlimited to ANY mobile. So $109 for voice and text plus $75 for 2 gb of data for 3 users. ATTs trump card is the unlimited to any mobile which is automatic whenever you add unlimited text.

posted on 10 May 2012, 07:06 3

15. DigitalMD (Posts: 226; Member since: 17 Feb 2010)

I wonder where they find these bozos to be CEO and vice presidents for major cell carriers. I'd love that kind of pay for making up garbage and running my mouth about nonsense.

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:04 1

22. djg71087 (Posts: 70; Member since: 10 Oct 2010)

With the spectrum crisis & Apple growing immensely, Seems like CEO's are kind of freaking. Especially, since they need to keep their shareholders happy. I too, do not understand why they continue to "yap yap" away...

posted on 10 May 2012, 07:06 4

16. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)

Uhh sorry I will stop using tablets before I lock into a contract.

posted on 10 May 2012, 08:03 1

19. tedkord (Posts: 14121; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

And I read that Comcast CEO believes that they'll stop building TVs that accept OTA signals. And the CEO of XM/Sirius thinks manufacturers will stop making AM/FM radios. CEO executives seem to live in some alternate reality, where lies are truth and people love to waste money.

I have no desire for a tablet anyway, but I damned sure wouldn't buy one that tied me to a carrier for data, especially at the price/capacity of current plans.

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:16 2

20. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

Can someone please gag ATT execs? lol. then again, it does make for news we can all make fun of together. :)

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:20 1

21. quryous (banned) (Posts: 106; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

As usual, ATT (professes it) doesn't get it.

It is NOT the cost of the tablet, it is the cost of USING it that makes a difference. Their so called PLANS are only plans on how to get your money from YOUR pocket into THEIRS.

posted on 10 May 2012, 14:33 2

25. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

the more I hear someone form ATT talk the more I like being in big red...

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:49 1

26. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

ha, there is a reason they are nicknamed the "evil empire".

at least we can all unite in making fun of ATT execs.. if only for a moment.

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:56 1

27. Sakmann67 (Posts: 29; Member since: 22 May 2010)

All devices should have all capabilities built in from the beginning.The ecosystem was a little out of balance."- Glenn Lurie.

I will translate.

"I am an AT&T Corporate Pussy and I am in charge of our tablet market share and It's not high enough, so I will denounce Wifi Tablets as just a passing trend."

posted on 10 May 2012, 17:32 1

29. lsutigers (Posts: 821; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


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