Verizon 4G Android Phones, Tablet Slated for CES

Verizon is rolling out several 4G smartphones and at least one tablet computer as it seeks to catch Sprint and its 70 4G markets.

Verizon Wireless will unveil several 4G smartphones and at least one tablet computer based on Google's Android operating system at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Verizon Wireless has made no secret that this CES will be its coming-out party for 4G long-term evolution wireless technology, which provides data speeds comparable to land-based cable modems and fiber-optic cables.

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is providing the keynote address Jan. 6, which the company executives will follow at 1 p.m. PDT with a press event, inviting media to "come see the next evolution of 4G LTE."

The Wall Street Journal said Jan. 3 that's where Verizon will introduce Android 4G-powered smartphones made by Samsung, Motorola, HTC and LG Electronics, and at least one tablet computer.

The tablet is likely to be the Motorola tablet the phone maker has teased about in a promo video. Little is known about this device other than that it will feature the next-generation Honeycomb Android OS.

A little more is known about at least two of the smartphones.

Droid Life reported that the HTC Thunderbolt will be the first 4G LTE device from Verizon Wireless. Verizon COO John Stratton confirmed to the Journal that "Motorola will be right there" when it comes time to roll out handsets based on the company's 4G network in 2011.

4G LTE is expected to boost consumer consumption of mobile applications such as video and games on smartphones and tablet computers.

Speedy application performance with little to no latency means users will be more likely to spend more time with the applications, consuming more data. That's a big boon for handset makers, carriers and applications developers.

While CES attendees may be able to sample Verizon 4G prototype devices on the show floor, the gadgets won't reach consumers hands until later in 2011.

Sprint has been selling 4G Android phones since the summer, launching the popular HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G smartphone. Sprint's 4G network is now available in more than 70 U.S. markets.

Verizon will look to aggressively up the 4G ante at CES and beyond throughout 2011.