HP Catches Tablet Fever

The hype war between Webpad vendors has started, but questions about widespread carrier support for this new class of devices still remain.

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) launched its TV ad for the iPad on Sunday, during the Oscars, as it gets ready to start taking pre-orders for the new device on March 12. The iPhone maker said last week that it will launch the first WiFi-only iPads in the US on April 3. (See Apple Sets iPad Launch Date for April 3.)

Click below to see the ad:

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), meanwhile, has an ad for its own "Slate" tablet:

Beyond the glossy promos, however, Light Reading Mobile has been trying to find out if and when carriers, other than AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), might offer more Webpad support -- in particular, the "MicroSIM" format that Apple has chosen to use for the iPad.

We haven't received a reply from T-Mobile US Inc. about MicroSIM support, which would enable users to use and possibly even move between cellular networks (using two or more SIM cards). We also have calls in Europe about this issue and hope to bring you more news soon. (See Apple's iPad: Unlocking the 3G Myth.)

So far, AT&T has said that it considers the iPad more of a WiFi-driven device. (See Gadget Watch: Apple vs. HTC.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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