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 10.1.
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.