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Verizon CFO: Tablets on deck, LTE capable smartphones first half of 2011

Verizon Wireless will have 4G aircards and dongles available in the fourth quarter, but LTE tablets and smartphones will be on deck in the first half of 2011. 3G tablets will be a fourth quarter development.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Verizon CFO John Killian said Wednesday that the company will have news on tablet launches "in the not too distant future." Meanwhile, 4G aircards and dongles will be available in the fourth quarter, but LTE tablets and smartphones will be on deck in the first half of 2011.

Killian's comments from the Oppenheimer telecom, media and technology conference seem to verify the Verizon roadmap detailed by the Boy Genius Report on Tuesday.

When asked about whether LTE smartphones would be available in the fourth quarter, Killian said:

You will not see smartphone devices with LTE before Christmas. but, you will see them in the first half of next year. What we will have in the fourth quarter is dongles and aircards for broadband access. We are very confident that smartphones will be available in the first half of next year.

On tablets, Killian said:

We haven't announced anything from a tablet perspective. We're working hard with a couple of different manufacturers on tablet devices. We will have some news there in the not-too-distant future.

And on whether those tablets will be LTE capable, Killian added:

On LTE-capable. I think that's probably going to be early next year also. But we will have some tablet devices in the second half of this year.

Killian's comments are notable for Verizon customers trying to decide to upgrade. For instance, I can upgrade my phone tomorrow, but plan to hold out for an LTE capable device. I figure it's better to hold out than sign a two-year contract that freezes me out of 4G for two years.

Speaking of LTE, Killian said Verizon will have 30 yet-to-be-named 4G markets.

Among other items:

  • Killian couldn't comment on whether Verizon would have new BlackBerry OS 6 and Windows Phone 7 devices available by Christmas.
  • By the end of 2012, Verizon will have most of the country covered with LTE service.

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