Reuters: Apple CEO Tim Cook to unveil 4G LTE iPad tomorrow

“Apple Inc is betting a 4G-equipped iPad will tempt more U.S. consumers to pay extra to watch high-quality video on the go, and in turn, give Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc a revenue boost,” Poornima Gupta and Sinead Carew report for Reuters.

“Until now, Apple’s fan legion has been reluctant to shell out extra money even for iPads with 3G connections. The cheaper Wi-Fi-only model — with more limited Web access — is by far the top-selling one today,” Gupta and Carew report. “The newest iPad will be capable of operating on a high-speed 4G “LTE,” or Long-Term Evolution network, according to a source familiar with the product. At speeds roughly 10 times faster than current 3G technology, that may go a long way toward banishing the sometimes shaky video quality of older devices.”

Gupta and Carew report, “Such a juiced-up device would help boost the telecoms market if consumers catch on and can be enticed to pay more, some analysts said. The global tablet user base already reached 67 million in 2011, according to researcher Strategy Analytics. ‘It’s going to dramatically improve video consumption,’ said UBS analyst John Hodulik. ‘This is the device people want. They want the fastest speed. They want high resolution.'”

“The unveiling at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where the company also introduced the last two iPad generations, will be Chief Executive Tim Cook’s second major product launch, after the iPhone 4S unveiling last year at the company’s headquarters,” Gupta and Carew report.

Read more in the full article, including Appel TV speculation, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related article:
It’s official: Apple to hold iPad event on March 7 in San Francisco – February 28, 2012

21 Comments

  1. I think Apple should ditch the wifi-only models and sell only 3G/LTE enabled iPads at the same price points as the wifi models. I’m not sure the difference in the bill of materials cost to include the 3G/LTE radios, but I have to believe that there is enough margin in the wifi only price to cover the increase in build cost.

    This has 2 benefits: simplifies the product line and provides an upsell opportunity to Apple’s wireless partners. If everybody has 3G/LTE iPads, then Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, et. al, cannot help but sell more data plans.

    I bought a Gen1 iPad wifi only because of the price difference. There are definitely times when I wished I had the 3G model and would have purchased a monthly date allotment if I could have.

    1. I agree with you completely. And Apple can ask more back end money from the carriers to subsidize the difference in cost of WIFI only and 3g/LTE models since people would on a spur of a moment buy data plans ( such as when they travel).

    2. I know what you’re thinking. The cost of the WWAN chip is minimal, so why not include it and simplify the product line.

      However, that doesn’t recognize what the original pricing accomplished. By pricing the larger memory iPads and WWAN chipped iPads at a premium to their marginal component costs, Apple was able to price the entry wifi model at a price point with lower margins than their norm. The WWAN chipped models subsidize the wifi ones.

    3. I am under the impression that many, many businesses and organisations forbid/gatekeep any connexion to teh interwebz at work for their workers with camera equipped portable devices. Wi-fi only models affords them that sense of pseudo-security.

      2nd point, and I think this might be the biggie. Because the iPads, unlike the iPhones, aren’t carrier subsidised, Apple has triumphed, so far, over the Android powered tablet competition. Carriers would love to see several models from various OEMs who could match or beat Apple’s offering with seemingly similar (or lowered) priced (courtesy of 2-years contract and upfront subsidy hoodwink) and laundry list of hardware “features” as differentiators.

    4. ‘I think Apple should ditch the wifi-only models and sell only 3G/LTE enabled iPads at the same price points as the wifi models. ‘

      I don’t want or need to pay per month for any more ‘goodies’ I’m in line for a WIFI only thanks.

      I’m sure Apple will do what’s best for them.

      1. The 3G/LTE enabled iPads also include WiFi. You don’t have an additional monthly bill for data unless you use the 3G/LTE connection.

        The iPad can connect using only WiFi.

        1. But the 3G/LTE also include GPS, and that is important to me. So it costs an extra $130 to get GPS right now. Perhaps the iPad 3 is configured differently? I hope so.

  2. It is not the cost of the 3G or 4G iPad that is a problem so much as the expense of a second cell phone bill month after month. Especially since for most the use of an iPad outside of areas with wifi access can be occasional. We can use our iPhone in those instances.

  3. I can see it for businesses, but most consumers are not going to shell for an additional monthly bill just to watch movies on the go. What everybody needs is more capacity. Getting my first 64 GB iPad as soon as they ship.

  4. Let me get this straight – consumers are going to pay more for LTE to watch high quality video so they can burn through their bandwidth in record time and get throttled by the carriers?

    That makes sense if you are also willing to pay extra for extra GB bandwidth. I’d rather load my iPad with video and watch it that way. I have done Netflix with my iPad, but only with WiFi.

    Seriously, if AT&T and Verizon are really going are going to try to leverage consumption of high quality video, something is seriously wrong. Sure, if you mean I can more easily watch pithy clips more easily, that’s cool. But when I hear “high quality”, I think movies and TV. How many of those can I watch with my data allowance? Not a lot.

    I’ll consider an LTE iPad if the price for service is reasonable. But it will be for web browsing and email. Not for movies and TV. Unless they magically can let me use 5 GB a month. They can’t.

  5. I own an iPad 2 and both a Verizon and AT&T 4G hotspot. I have NO interest in buying a phone data plan for my iPad. In addition to using it for my iPad, I can also use the hotspots for laptops and as an emergency backup for my cable ISP. An iPad with built-in would charge me for tethering.

    WiFi also frees me from the whim of Apple’s offerings. I have had 4G/Enhanced 3G since last summer on my iPads.

  6. FaceTime. It is great, it makes video chat as easy as a phone call; Skype can’t do it as easy. The big problem with FT is WiFi only, it makes it a novelty. With 4G there will be FT on the go, you won’t have to plan ahead.

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