Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

Summary: Apple is widely expected to unveil its next-generation iPad March 2, but it's worth watching how the device will accelerate the Verizon Wireless vs. AT&T battle.

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Apple is widely expected to unveil its next-generation iPad March 2, but it's worth watching how the device will accelerate the Verizon Wireless vs. AT&T battle.

That's the takeaway from Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Larsen. Larsen notes that the Verizon iPhone features Qualcomm's latest Gobi chipset, which can handle both GSM and CDMA networks. If that formula is followed with the iPad 2 consumers will be able to pick their carrier at the point-of-purchase.

The new Verizon iPhone contains Qualcomm’s latest Gobi chipset, which could be configured to provide service to both GSM and CDMA networks. This would make it easy, in our opinion, for Apple to manufacture, distribute and sell one iPad that can be sold to AT&T and Verizon customers. This could, however, open up a whole new era of competition between the two largest US carriers. Imagine that a customer goes into an Apple store and buys an iPad with 3G connectivity. At the point of sale, they make no decision about which carrier to use, and will only do so when they log into the device and either select Verizon or AT&T. The carriers could be forced to compete on price, in addition to airing “my 3G network is better than yours” commercials.

The wild card here is Verizon's 4G Long-Term Evolution network. Larsen speculates that there is a slim chance that the iPad will include an LTE chipset.

Indeed, a Verizon LTE iPad "could trump all in the near term," said Larsen. The analyst isn't putting a high probability to an LTE iPad, but such a device would stop Motorola's Xoom before it even got rolling.

Related:

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Processors, AT&T, Verizon

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26 comments
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  • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

    Either way it will equal HUGE sales as the iPad will dominate the tablet landscape.

    Xoom who?
    Ron Burgundy
  • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

    Probably not. The analyst is assuming people are going to purchase the iPad2, I'm guessing sales will be pretty minimal since people bought the first iPad and now you don't hear about them anymore.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

      @Loverock Davidson Yeah, just like those who didn't buy the iPhone 3, or iPhone 3GS, or the iPhone 4...

      Get lost, Mister I Don't Own A WP7

      "I can't wait to get one"
      Ron Burgundy
    • Hey Loverock...

      @Loverock Davidson

      Have you been to Cyberidiot's blog yet? http://zdnetfollies.blogspot.com

      He has nice things to say about us...mixed in with how angry he is that ZDnet has become a ground for trolling and flame wars...

      The kicker is, [B]HE COMPLAINS ABOUT PEOPLE WHO SETUP MULTIPLE IDENTITIES AND START FLAME WARS, THEN ADMITS TO DOING IT HIMSELF! HE LISTS *SOME* OF THE ID'S HE'S USED IN THE PAST[/B]

      BUWHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      GIVE IT UP FOR HYPOCRITE IDIOT OF THE YEAR!
      SonofaSailor
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

        @SonofaSailor
        Sounds like he is a wanna-be Maddox, but he fails at it. When I read his posts I pretend he is talking like kermit the frog so I can get some entertainment out of it.
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

        @SonofaSailor Loving your meltdown loser boy...

        We all know you and Loverock are domestic partners....

        Keep up the good work, we were wondering when you were going to post your psychotic drivel today...

        Thanks for inspiring another blog post.
        Ron Burgundy
      • Message has been deleted.

        SonofaSailor
  • Except that most people buy wi-fi only iPads

    which makes the carrier question irrelevant. So why do the tech pundits keep making a big deal out of the carrier question? Simple. Because all the other tablets out there right now are married to carriers. So in order to make them seem even halfway relevant as iPad competitors, they have to pretend that the iPad is also married to a carrier.
    fr_gough
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

      @frgough@... <br>Yes, I completely agree. Last year touched only a few percentage of the market. I had reviewed Xoom for two hours yesterday at local BestBuy store and I found nothing that compelling in Xoom. Except for the browser and quickbooks. This is not enough for one to ditch iPad and move onto Xoom. The GUI looked it is in between Windows 7 and iPad. Of course Xoom has faster multi-touch response than other Android Tablets, but not as fast as iPad or for that matter Windows Phone 7.
      Ram U
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

      @frgough@... I think the GAME CHANGER will be if Apple drops its WiFi-only models, and instead starts its 3G models @ $499 instead (no contract price). Double the storage space and offer AT&T and Verizon carrier subsidies starting at $199, and it immediately becomes a significant embarrassment to everything else on the market. You don't hear much of it, but Apple has made strategic investments in securing flash memory and touch panels. Other vendors will have a hard time finding suppliers, let alone competing on the final product. If Apple flexes this muscle, it makes things extremely painful for everyone else.
      cleverboy
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

        @cleverboy
        Oh yes, this what exactly I have in mind.
        Ram U
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

        @cleverboy All 4G and "4G" protocols to date are IP-only, there's no separate voice mode. In fact, supposedly even HSPA+ is IP-only; you have to drop down to HSPA to run muli-mode. The new Qualcomm chip is 3G only, but would cover Sprint.

        In fact, that's a good indication of how messed up the cellphone situation is in the USA. Both AT&T and TMo do the same 2G/EDGE on 1900MHz; AT&T can also use 850MHz. And by law, phones have to be unlockable, and thanks to SIM cards, there's no way for AT&T to know you have a formerly T'Mo phone.

        But on 3G, AT&T uses both 850 and 1900Mhz, since HSPA needs four times the bandwidth of 2G.. 10MHz versus 2.5MHz. T'Mo didn't have that spectrum, do they had to wait for an auction.. they now do 3G on 1700 and 2100MHz. A vendor could make a universal GSM phone, but no one has. And the cell providers are not encouraging this.

        Verizon and Sprint, on the other hand, run CDMA2000, iincluding EvDO 3G. Verizon has 850MHz, Sprint is 1900 only, like T'Mo. But that doesn't matter, since EvDO only needs 2.5MHz, same as 2G... also why every Verizon (ans maybe Sprint) does 3G, versus only about 1/4 of AT&T's. Verizon and Sprint should be totally interchangeable..only, no SIM card. The ID code of your CDMA phone is built in.. and the numbers are issued in blocks, like IP addresses. So Verizon knows a Verizon phone, and won't authorize one from Sprint. This is apparently still legal... phones are never locked, the network is locked.

        It gets worse for 4G. HSPA+ is really 3G, so its issues are identical to regular HSPA. Sprint runs WiMax at 2500 MHz, and they have tons of bandwidth (90Mhz in some areas). But 2500 is kind of unfortunate -- it is easily blocked by foliage, and lossier in free air than lower frequencies. LTE is at 700Mhz from Verizon, and will also be at 700Mhz from AT&T sometime this year (so they say), compatible 4G, but not in 3G. But Apple could support both AT&T and Verizon in 3G and LTE using the Qualcomm modem and a separate 4G modem,
        Hazydave
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

      @frgough@...

      Actually this go-round I'll be getting the carrier iPad, just a matter of who I want, Verizon or AT&T...
      Ron Burgundy
      • You're not most people.

        the original point stands.
        fr_gough
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

        @frgough There's no data contract with the AT&T version of the iPad, it's a pay as you go per month deal...so in reality it's a good idea...my concern is the AT&T coverage and speed.
        Brick Tamland
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

      @frgough@... and dont forget, Verizons network speeds pale in comparison to ATT, I mean look at how many people jumped on the verizon band wagon when they released the iphone 4, I am sure they will sell enough to cover the cost of advertising but I dont see this being a huge game changer, plus it seems silly if you have a ipad, you probably have an iphone, if they have the wifi hotspot, why not just have your ipad pull from your phone?
      nickdangerthirdi@...
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

      @frgough@... incorrect.. there are plenty of wifi-only Android tablets out there... and not just useless Chinese tablets with slow processors, low memory, and Android 1.6 (though sure, if you only spend $100 on a tablet, that's what you get). Archos and Viewsonic make some verupy nice tablets that outperform the original iPad in many ways and cost hundreds less.

      Its just the pundits who seem to see the tablet world as iPad plus expensive and fully loaded tablets from Motorola and Samsung (footnotes about RIM and HP, too, but also presuming high prices and no wifi-only model, which I think unlikely, particularly in HP's case).

      So blame the pundits, not the acutal tablet market. They seem to have decided the iPad is a great bargin (probably because they bought one), and so filter out any evidence that runs contrary to that assertion. Which leaves only the tablets hopping directly on the iPad bandwagon, price included.

      No doubts Apple is the trendsetter, and the iPad 2 announcement will be a game changer, whether its terrible or wonderful. Curious thing, though... tablets actually existed before the iPad. Even Android tablets, despite the fact an Android tablet is just a "big fat Droid", and without Market pre-installed, until Honeycomb. But without the iPad, you'd still have Archos, still have the nook, still have the Adam, still have various other larger screen mobile devices. The pundits seem only interested in those that arose largely based on the existance of the iPad.
      Hazydave
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

      Don't worry too much about Flash shortages. There are at least two good reasons for this. One is simple --Apple's not eve remotely the only company that knows how to manage IC procurements. They may have a heavy volume, but most of Apple's competitors have been in the mobile device + flash business much longer than Apple, and they already have strategic alliances in place. One of Apple's most direct competitors, Samsung, is not only the world's largest Flash manufacturer (as well as second largest semiconductor company, after Intel... they make the "A4" processor and DRAM in every iPhone, iTouch, and iPad, for example), they also make LCDs and other critical components. Apple reportedly went shopping to fab the next Apple chip themselves, to avoid being At Samsung's mercy.

      The other reason this is not a concern is that Flash is not in short supply. In fact, based on the reliable cycle of flash fab upgrade cycles, there's an oversupply now, and it's likely to be a glut by the fall. Just check the price trends on USB sticks and memory cards over the course of 6-12 months, and you can judge the supply of Flash in the market (these devices use the exact same NAND flash you'll find on Apple motherboards or SSD drives).
      Hazydave
  • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

    I like the article and it raises an interesting point but I am looking for a WiFi only version.
    Both of my phones can be used as hotspots so why would I need a carrier? A couple years down the road when LTE/4G/WiMax/SomethingElse gets more mainstream and carrier connectivity has stabilized I may be a bit more interested.
    For now I don't want another data plan.
    ;)
    rhonin
  • RE: Apple's iPad 2 may open new front in Verizon vs. AT&T battle

    Well I've had the wifi ipad since the begining (and a mifi device). I wish I had the 3G version from the begining (and it's a cheaper plan). My next one will have cellular wireless.
    dbgreen53