NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple's new iPad includes 4G support from AT&T and Verizon, but not Sprint. That might have been due to choices on Sprint's part.
In the United States, Apples new iPad
supports 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) through AT&T and Verizon.
But Sprint is missing from the iPad
carrier lineupa conspicuous absence, given how it offered Apples iPhone 4S
from the outset. Nor is Sprint an unknown in the tablet space, given how it
already offers a small selection of devices including the Samsung Galaxy Tab
At this time, Sprint is not a carrier
for Apples iPad products, a Sprint spokesperson told eWEEK
March 13. We have nothing to announce at this time.
The lack of the new iPad on Sprint
could have something to do with the carriers longtime investment in WiMax for
its 4G technology, as opposed to LTE. That decision stemmed from Sprints need
to quickly create a 4G footprint in the United States. However, even Sprint CEO
Dan Hesse admitted in 2010 that WiMax would likely end up dwarfed by LTE,
which was supported by Verizon and AT&T.
WiMax was a tried, true, tested 4G
technology, he told an audience at that years CTIA Wireless conference in Las
Vegas. LTE will most likely be the larger of the two 4G standards, but for us,
we couldnt wait. Because of our spectrum position, we have the option to add
other technologies later, but this allows us to get into this technology quickly.
In mid-2012, Sprint will start offering
4G LTE technology in major markets such as Baltimore, Kansas City, Atlanta,
Dallas and San Antonio. The first 4G LTE devices on the carriers network will
include the Galaxy Nexus, running Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
In light of that, Sprints absence from
the new iPad launch might have been a factor of timing: Had its 4G LTE network
activated a little earlier, it might have become the third carrier to join
Verizon and AT&T in offering ultra-speedy service on the tablet.
Nonetheless, Sprint could still offer 4G support for the iPad later this year.
Scheduled for release March 16, the new
iPad includes a high-resolution Retina Display, backed by a new A5X processor
with quad-core graphics, and a 5-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting
1080p video. It weighs slightly more than the iPad 2, at 1.4 pounds, and offers
comparable battery life.
Apple will keep the same prices for the
new iPad as the previous model, starting at $499 for WiFi-only versions, and
$629 for those with 4G capability. Prices top out at $699 for the WiFi-only,
64GB model and $829 for the 64GB model with WiFi and 4G.
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