Where Are the LTE Tablets?

Despite plenty of hype about 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) tablets in the U.S. you cannot actually go out and buy one of these newfangled computing devices in a store yet.

In fact, much of the first wave of 4G tablets aren't expected to be here until the fall. Even when the initial LTE tablets arrive, the model that most people want -- an Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad LTE -- may not be amongst the offerings to hit the stores first.

So let's run down the coming attractions:

Either the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) tablet or the LTE upgrade for the Motorola Mobility LLC Xoom Web pad is likely to be the first to arrive on the scene. The LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for Verizon Wireless is available to buy now from $529 and should ship to customers by mid-August, according to our sister publication, InformationWeek .

Motorola, meanwhile has been promising that an LTE update for its Xoom tablet would be available this summer. The LTE module has now passed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tests, according to Wireless Goodness, so should be available soon. (See Moto Ships 250K Xooms But Waits on LTE.)

BlackBerry has delayed the launch of its 4G PlayBook until the fall. The company tells LR Mobile that it will add LTE, WiMax and HSPA+ 3G versions to its lineup this autumn. (See RIM Delays 4G PlayBook to the Fall.)

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) also says its enterprise Cius tablet will arrive with LTE for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless this fall. Verizon, however, is already offering a workaround by bundling the Wi-Fi Cius with an LTE-capable Wi-Fi hot spot. (See CES 2011: The Daily Tablet.)

The most mysterious LTE tablet, aside from a 4G-capable iPad, is the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) 'Puccini' LTE tablet. The FCC watchdogs at Wireless Goodness note that the tablet has now passed the government tests and appears to be heading for AT&T, but we don't know when it will arrive on the market yet.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

Arno_K 12/5/2012 | 4:58:45 PM
re: Where Are the LTE Tablets?

Potentially the the pre-dominant LTE tablet solution in the industry will be a bundle of a WiFi(-only) tablet with a MiFi modem from the relevant service provider ... which allows tablet manufacturers to avoid the hassle of designing different tablet versions for all kind of frequency bands around the globe, while MiFi modems (with LTE backhaul) can obviously be used for a variety of terminals, incl. laptops, etc. and will be designed with the applicable bands & radio combination in mind ...

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:58:44 PM
re: Where Are the LTE Tablets?

Definitely. Expect to see more bundles with MiFi and WiFi tablets. I have two issues with ith though:


1. How quickly will you bust your data cap?

2. A personal hotspot is one more thing to leave somewhere!

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:58:38 PM
re: Where Are the LTE Tablets?

I've been using the Evo Shift as a mobile hot spot more and more (it did a great job streaming an entire episode of Game of Thrones the last time i was on the road) and it's making me consider whether to just chuck my 3G subscription I tied to the iPad.

But using the phone in that mode chews the battery to bits in no time, so I'm always looking for a place to plug it in.  And if you have a data cap to consider, I can see why some would hesitate on that.   JB



Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 4:58:36 PM
re: Where Are the LTE Tablets?

For LTE a MiFi is a good first step, but I'm not sure about the long run. I've found 3G MiFi's are great in theory, but in reality you either forget them, or don't get around to using them much, or they run out of charge at an inconvinient moment.

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