AT&T's First LTE Tab Is for Big Spenders

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced its first dual-mode Long Term Evolution (LTE) and High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) tablet on Wednesday, but only for those who can afford it. The High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Jetstream will cost $699.99 with a new two-year contract when it launches on Sept. 4.

The Android Honeycomb-based tablet also requires a new data plan at $35 per month for 3GB of data, which an AT&T spokesman described as "discounted tablet pricing." Off-contract, the device will cost users $849.99 with a choice between a pre- or post-paid plan of $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB of monthly data.

The Jetstream is HTC's long-rumored Puccini tablet, featuring a 10.1-inch display, 1.5Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) Snapdragon chip and two-way cameras for video chat. On top of Android's made-for-tablets operating system, the Jetstream will run HTC's Sense skin and include a Scribe pen accessory at no cost for a limited time. (See Android: More Than One Way to Skin an OS? and HTC Knocks Some Sense Into Developers.)

Why this matters
LTE is an important differentiator for tablets at this point, but $700 is a hefty price to pay for a device on a network that's not even deployed yet. Motorola Mobility LLC offered its LTE, Android 3.0 Xoom tablet on Verizon Wireless for $600 on contract -- $100 less than HTC's Jetstream -- and it failed to really make a dent in the market. (See Where Are the LTE Tablets?, Verizon Lets Users Xoom for $600 and Moto Ships 250K Xooms But Waits on LTE.)

The Jetstream's specs should make it a solid tablet competitor, but if AT&T is hoping users will pay a premium for 4G, it will likely have to step up its deployment plan to more than just 15 markets by the end of the year. (See AT&T LTE Network 'Coming Soon'.)

For more
Read up on how the tablet market is shaping up:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:54:58 PM
re: AT&T's First LTE Tab Is for Big Spenders

I bet we'll see some holiday sales on this bad boy. It's too bad it's so expensive, because it really looks like an awesome tablet.

Sign In