Gadget Watch: Verizon May Be Google's Tablet Pal

Leading off this week's gadget news, the tablet wars between Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) may be ready to begin:
  • The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon Wireless has hooked up with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) to produce a rival to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad 3G for AT&T. (See Verizon, Google Developing Tablet.) Verizon is already supporting Android phones on its CDMA network, so working with Google on a tablet using that operating system or Google's Chrome OS doesn't seem like a stretch. It is no secret that Google design concepts for a tablet or two have been around for months now. (See Gadget Watch: Android & RIM Strike Back.)

  • Speaking of Apple and Verizon, Engadget notes that talk is increasing about an LTE iPhone on the carrier's new network this summer. The problem with this chatter is that Verizon Wireless's CTO, Dick Lynch, has said that the carrier intends to launch commercially in the fourth quarter. (See LTE Watch: Verizon Goes Live in Q4.)

    An LTE smartphone is expected to follow that, in the first half of 2011. "Some of the vendors are more aggressive than that... But I don't like to over-promise," Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone told Light Reading Mobile in March. (See CTIA 2010: The LTE Smartphone Scramble.)

  • The upcoming 2.2 version of the Android mobile operating system could run up to five times faster than the current code, PC World notes. This could be particularly useful, if, as rumored, full Flash video support will be part of the upgrade for the next cut of the OS.

  • T-Mobile US Inc. and Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) have a fresh take on mobile mapping with a new $200 smartphone due out in June. The Android-based touchscreen doesn't need a data connection to spit out directions to users on the move; it has a dedicated 2 GB to store maps onboard the phone.

    See an IntoMobile video rundown of the phone below:

  • Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) may reveal more details of its WiMax smartphone tonight with a preview of the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) EVO 4G at a swanky nightclub in NYC. Light Reading Mobile will bring you any new information released, such as the launch date, tomorrow.

    New more of a gadget fix? Click below:

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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