AT&T & Verizon Fight for iPad 2 Dominance

Shortly after Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced Wednesday that both AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless will be offering the iPad 2 on their 3G networks, the carriers took to social media to promote their respective networks. (See Apple iPad 2: The Basics and Apple Live Event as It Happens.)

As usual, Verizon went into attack mode and AT&T went on the defense.

Verizon Wireless tweeted from its official handle a not-so-subtle dig to AT&T: "You have a choice between 2 identical-looking cars. One drives everywhere fast! The other fast -- then OOPS! The network drops it."

In a separate Twitter account, @VZWNetwork, Verizon teased: "Who leads the way in call quality? Check back tomorrow to find out..."

Around the same time, AT&T CTO John Donovan posted a blog assuring users that AT&T will continue to work on improving the network experience. He reiterated that AT&T saw its traffic grow by 8,000 percent in the past four years and that it will invest $19 billion in capital to improve its wireless and wired networks this year.

"We know that we still can make call quality even better in some markets," Donovan wrote in the blog. "That work is our top priority for 2011. We’ll be sharing specific plans for many markets in the weeks to come."

Many have pointed out that Apple made a few network missteps with the iPad 2. First, Apple didn't include support for Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the device. Second, without a dual-mode chip, different models are required for the tablet to run on CDMA and HSPA, so consumers have to choose their carrier up front. And finally, Apple didn't offer the iPad to Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) nor T-Mobile US Inc. .

All this means that AT&T and Verizon will continue to duke it out over 3G coverage alone, and consumers will vote with their wallets as they did with the iPhone 4.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:11:19 PM
re: AT&T & Verizon Fight for iPad 2 Dominance

I know four people who have them -- all Wi-Fi only. Any data on how many iPads sold are 3G?

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:11:19 PM
re: AT&T & Verizon Fight for iPad 2 Dominance

Random Google Searches....


"According to Context, a market research firm, that almost 80 percent of iPad sales in the UK was dominates by 3G version of the tablet, with only 20 percent of November sales were for non Wi-Fi version of iPad."



"AT&T reported that;

AT&T also had a another strong tablet quarter, a new growth area for the company. It added 442,000 iPad and Android-based tablets to its network, with more than 90 percent of these booked to the prepaid category.

In the same quarter Apple reported;

The Company sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 91 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 9.05 million iPods during the quarter, representing an 11 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. The Company also sold 4.19 million iPads during the quarter.

This is interesting because AT&T’s marketing and business model depends on gaining the initial profit from selling each iPad, plus the continued profit of expensive 3G and 4G data plans. If only 442,000 out of 4.19 Million iPads were activated, this yields an activation rate of only 10.5 percent."


I have no idea if this all is right, wrong or indifferent.





DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:11:17 PM
re: AT&T & Verizon Fight for iPad 2 Dominance

Yeah, I've just been working under the assumption that less than 25% of all iPads are 3G-enabled. Probably half of those will keep an account longer than a year since the contract terms for the iPad are less onerous than the two-year lockdown required for a subsidized iPhone.

Interesting stuff. I bring it up because tablets are supposed to be a huge data access driver, but I think this will have a bigger impact on Wi-Fi hotspots than 3G networks.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:11:16 PM
re: AT&T & Verizon Fight for iPad 2 Dominance

AT&T's pricing changes suggest they expect more iPad 2s to be activated on their 3G network, but they won't tell updated numbers for the first one.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:11:15 PM
re: AT&T & Verizon Fight for iPad 2 Dominance

Wow, @VZWireless had another Tweet, now deleted, that offended a few cat lovers: "Choose between 2 cute kittens. You pet one and PURR! Pet the second and OOPS! Forgot about the death grip!"

Verizon wants you to remember, use an AT&T iPhone, kill a kitty.

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