ATandT: Tablets Will Replace Laptops
As AT&T readies for the loss of its exclusive Apple iPhone contract, it's looking to tablets, which officials say eventually will overtake laptops.AT&T isn't yet mourning the upcoming loss of its exclusive relationship with the Apple iPhone-the expected influx of tablet devices is giving it hope. Glenn Lurie, AT&T's emerging devices president, said that tablets, ranging in price from $300 to $1,000, will soon make laptops obsolete. "You're going to see those 10-inch pieces of glass become full-on computers," Lurie said in an interview with Bloomberg, reported Aug. 25.
As the for-now exclusive data provider for Apple's iPads, this gives AT&T one more reason to keep its chin up. (During AT&T's second-quarter earnings call, executives emphasized, too, that the iPad, particularly with business customers, has been a far easier sell than the iPhone initially was.)Still another reason may be its similarly exclusive status with Dell's 5-inch Streak tablet-a clear example of the "device collecting" AT&T is doing in preparation for the iPhone's arrival elsewhere. Additional examples include the RIM BlackBerry Torch and the Android-running Dell Aero smartphone. In July, ABI Research updated its tablet forecast for 2010 by nearly threefold, to a total of 11 million units. "Assuming that competing tablets from other vendors do arrive in the second half of the year as expected, we believe that the iPad will account for a significant portion-but not all-of the projected 11 million units," ABI principal analyst Jeff Orr wrote in the report. "To capitalize on the usual fourth quarter sales boom, other tablets need to reach retailers' shelves by early September."