Rumor: Subsidized Apple iTablet Coming to Verizon this Year?

Mac Touch Concept Rendering

The Street (via MacRumors) is rumoring about the iTablet on Verizon:

An initial version of the long-anticipated Apple tablet will be subsidized by Verizon (VZ Quote), but Apple and Verizon "won't be as tightly integrated" as Apple's iPhone exclusivity deal with AT&T (T Quote), says one source familiar with the companies, who asked not to be named.

iTablet, or MediaPad, rumors for Verizon are nothing new of course. The Verizon subsidy would help reduce the initial sticker price of an $800 iTablet down to something more competitive with low cost netbooks, though with only a data plan and no voice, the subsidy wouldn't be a large as the one AT&T provides to iPhone customers who promptly return ~$100 a month in service fees.

Since Verizon is CDMA and Apple is an international company, it's hard to believe a GSM version of the iTablet -- if such a beatie is really near release -- isn't in the works, or wasn't completed first. So, hopefully, those not on Verizon, not eager for a CDMA data plan, or not in the US will have iTablet options as well.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

Matt B says:

I think it will be on verizon but it will also be on AT&T and maybe some other networks.
Apple wants to get it out to everyone not just verizon. And since they won't have a contract to keep it only on one network they could deliver it to different carriers.

Josel says:

I'm not excited about it. Verizon's 3G is sluggish compared to AT&T.
I jumped ship to AT&T and only to discover that I've been paying Verizon expensive data plan on my Curve 8330 and BB Storm for a speed that's at least 5x slower on AT&T's 3G, and I live in San Diego with 3G coverage by all 4 carriers. Conducting random speed tests on my ex-BB Storm, I've had 100-150 kbps. On my iphone, I never fall below 900 kbps and most of the time more than 1 mbps download speed.
Although I have some reservation about AT&T 's sometimes spotty coverage, I will never ever trade-off its speed. Verizon can have the biggest 3G coverage, but they don't tell you about how slow their network is. So its not worth to have a would be expensive tablet on a network that do not give you speed. 4G? that is still farther down the road.
It all depends on your preference.

cardfan says:

Don't care about having a carrier and built in plan. Tether or use a cradlepoint router.
That said, I still don't see the use of owning such a tablet. I've not gotten in the netbook spirit either. A 13" lightweight laptop specced up works for me.

sting7k says:

Yawwwn, still don't see the point when you could get an iPhone instead.

Shagghie says:

A larger multi-touch screen alone is worth it for me... meaning, better gaming, better audio/video/art canvasing, and higher resolution imaging in general... it would be heaven for me. I can see the argument against one as well, however, for a 'majority' of users that should just use an iPhone for 90% of what they do daily (myself included). I think, like the iPhone, however, that an iTablet would create yet ANOTHER cottage industry based on device-specific apps that are simple, fast, easy to use, and in-line with current iphone app paradigm of user experience. That's the holy grails...taking ease of use to a larger screen.
Ideally, I'd like to see and powerful enough iPhone that can cradle doc into a larger 'dumb' multi-touch screen.
Bingo...cheap, game over, and sexy.

MontyTheMooch says:

As excited as I am to see an Apple tablet I'll hold off until I see the specs. Here's my up front opinions:
If it:
- has a standard (non-solid state) hard drive. FAIL
- Has less than 3 hour battery life. FAIL
- Requires a Carrier data plan to activate and use FAIL
Overall I think there's a LOT of room for Apple to fail here. Tablet PCs have never taken off the way they could have. Mainly , I think, because people want them to be full on PCs instead of an appliance dedicated to a specific form of input. What this really NEEDS to be is something scaled down for pen inputs (note taking and such) that can be wirelessly synced back to a central "cloud" for access from multiple platforms a la Evernote etc...

Green says:

@josel, BB curve and storm don't support 3G. So you are only comparning Edge to 3G. The results you got on each network is average for both considering that edge is slower then 3g.

Dyvim says:

Wouldn't consider this if it requires a data plan- our family already has 2 iPhone data plans- we can't afford (and don't need) another one. Would be nice if it has tethering and WiFi to use with iPhone.

Truth says:

1st this won't happen
2nd if it does I hope they don't use crappy ass OS 3.0 on it.

Josel says:

@Green, yes BB Curve doesn't support 3G that is why I replaced it with the BB Storm which is 1XEVDO Rev.A (3G equivalent in CDMA platform). My comparison is between BB Storm on Verizon and iPhone on AT&T. Give-add-take for the few setbacks on BB Storm's geriatric browser and "trial" OS, AT&T's 3G is still faster side-by-side. Knowing that the Safari is faster, I tried a co-worker's BB Bold vs. my now ex-Storm and the result is just disappointing on VZW.
If you decide to get the Apple tablet, it's just a question which network will give you a faster download and upload speed.

icebike says:

This device is aimed at a different market than an iPhone.
So those who can't see it being useful because they already have an iphone simply miss the point of this device entirely. It has nothing to do with the iPhone, it is not designed for your back pocket.
This is a notebook/netbook competitor. You can bet it has WIFI as well as 3G. Dell is also getting into this market.
Typically tablets are aimed at Artist types, graphic artists, lay-up artists, composition designers, more than simple web surfers (although Apple wouldn't chase away any customers).
Most use a stylus for hand writing and an on-screen keyboard. Other than the prop department at Stargate studios, the largest market for tablets is are artists, with a building segment in medical for charts and roaming access to hospital records, as well warehouse management applications.
I just can't see how anyone can be an iPhone fanboy and still Dis a device that brings that same screen+finger interface up to a usable size, where you could accomplish REAL work, with REAL applications.
The netbook industry is in mortal danger if you ask me.
It occurs to me that this device could also kill the Kindle in a drive by shooting, unless Apple tries to control what you can run on it.

icebike says:

Well, forget this device.
Truth says it won't happen. Game over. Please move along folks. He's never wrong. cough.

OmariJames says:

I don't think it should be exclusive. They should sell it like a netbook and let us have the option to use verizon instead of sticking to wifi.

Joe McG says:

@Josel
I had the Blackberry Bold on the AT&T network and the internet sucked too, even on 3G. The iPhone on the same network is great. I think Blackberry just blows.

frog says:

I'll never buy a computer which involves a contract for data.

Truth says:

@icebike
What have I had an opportunity to be wrong on.
The Iphone 3g has an outdated OS
The 3gs is a minimal upgrade at best
AT&T sucks for you but is cheap and great for me (thx discount)
The HTC Hero UI will mop the floor with the Iphone
OSX blows.
All Truth 24/7.

Sean peters says:

@icebike:It occurs to me that this device could also kill the Kindle in a drive by shooting, unless Apple tries to control what you can run on it.
Then I guess I won't be selling my Amazon stock. "unless Apple tries to control what you run on it"? These are the people who brought you the App Store. I think controlling what you run on it is pretty much a given.

icebike says:

@Sean:
But this is more of a general purpose computer.
Apple may take the approach of any Apple Laptop, where you don't need blessing from on high to buy, sell, or install software. Or they may go the Super-Nanny Iphone route where you have get down on bended knee.
That's what I meant.
If its just a run of the mill computer with a big touch screen, no problem. Anyone can write software for that.

icebike says:

@Truth:
All I meant was, you post with absolute certainty that this device "Won't Happen".
Then, with conviction, you follow that up with "If it does".
Now, ignoring the nihilism, why not just say you don't think this tablet is coming out, and then explain what apple is going to do with all the millions of 10 inch touch screens they recently ordered.

jojo10040 says:

Im currently going to unlock an iPhone 3G 3.0 using
redsn0w to jailbreak first and then ultrasn0w to unlock so the phone can be used with T-Mobile. Does any1 know if i need to have a working T-Mobile SIM card on the iphone in order for the unlocking software to work and get service?
Help you gladly be appreciated!Jose10040@gmail.com THNKS!

Hakala says:

I think if Apple does indeed develop an "iTablet" and it supports both CDMA and GSM people will relate it to iPhone (i.e. Oh look! It's a Giant iPhone! It must be just as cool!)

Chris B says:

Subsidized or not, for that price it had better have the capabilities of a Macbook and run Mac OS X. If not its just a non-pocket size iPod touch. And for that I will just stay with my iPhone.

Dave From Syracuse, NY says:

I just don't see where there's any profit in selling a tablet. Netbooks are cheap and Apple doesn't make cheap anything. Just think of it as an overpriced Kindle that you would STILL have to put in some sort of protective cover AND you couldn't hang it off your belt or put it in your pocket. It makes much more sense to put out a suped up Ipod touch with more memory, camera and video camera that can then sync up to the internet via a whispernet/Sprint (except using Verizon) type connection like the one the Kindle uses. Add Skype and who needs an Iphone. Charge $500 for that, and you have the must buy product of the season.

Hakala says:

@Truth it's called opinionated thought. Not truth. It's truth to you maybe but not for millions of other iPhone OS users. Personally I love the iPhone OS. I believe that, IN MY OWN OPINION, it is elegant and easy to use. I have no need to jailbreak, hack, or unlock my priceless phone. I think it is awesome.
All opinion 24/7

desjones4ever says:

Sometimes I think it's not even worth making an opinion about Apple moves because in this short time getting acquainted with them I see they make moves whole heartedly based on being the opposite of everything else out. That being said it's very likely I think this will happen their touchscreens are the way to go. But the more products out the more time it takes for them to come out with software upgrades because they try to do everything on a grand scale with these events. Meanwhile we are honestly waiting months on software upgrades/fixes that they need to make immediately. In order to keep up with a track record they released 3.0 buggy as I don't what and that sucks. They keep incoporating new ideas and new touches to products without just doing what it takes to get these fixes out they cloud you with other shit to take away from the fact that 3.0 is not what it could be right now. But you also have to blame other companies for putting out bullshit especially RIM because if there was real competition they would get they shit together much sooner. It's great to be profitable without question but without us they wouldn't be so just fix this mess Apple seriously. All these new converts to the iPhone will be mad in a few months because of the excess taps and slides to the simpliest of things with are becoming downright annoying. Makes you just want a cell phone.

Foster says:

Hey guys: This is JUST the item I've been wanting! A larger, color display Kindle that I can stick in my bag and take on the train or to the beach. So that I read a book, magazine, or work document, listen to music on Pandora.com and check my email.
Additionally, you totally miss how this new technology will be classroom-friendly. From textbooks to text entry -- it's gonna make a big difference especially for disabled children.
Ciao