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Verizon`s oh-so-profitable 4G LTE network to gain two tablets July 28


Samsung has zoomed ahead of the competition, partnering with Verizon to beginning selling a 4G LTE version of its popular Galaxy Tab on July 28.

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Last week, Samsung reported its weakest quarterly earnings in almost two years blaming "challenging business conditions" and "tight competition in consumer electronics and mobile business." The arrival of the speedy new tablet may help it to box out against Motorola, which has yet to make good on its long-coming promise of a Xoom 4G LTE hardware upgrade, and possibly even to tiptoe into iPad market share.

The tablet is just 0.34 inches thick (same as the iPad 2) and will come in choices of Metallic Gray and Glossy White. It`s set to boast download speeds of 5 to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5Mbps in Verizon`s 4G coverage areas (which should include 175 markets by year`s end (CP: As it rolls out LTE (and data tiers) Verizon growth accelerates, churn declines) and include features such as WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, front and back cameras, Adobe Flash 10.3, the Android 3.1 operating system (Honeycomb), and a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra2 dual-core processor.

None of which, despite a need to move tablets featuring more than WiFi connectivity (CP: Tablet sales flat; can operators help with better data sharing plans or subsidies?) comes cheap. Even with a two-year contract of $30 for 2GB a month, $50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB Verizon is charging $530 for a 16GB model of the Tab 10.1 and $630 for the 32GB model.

During Verizon`s recent earnings announcement, executives shared half of all the Internet data devices sold during the quarter were 4G LTE devices though CFO Fran Shammo declined to detail how many were handsets and how many were dongles and hotspots.

As of the announcement, Verizon had 9 LTE devices 3 smartphones, 2 hotspots, 3 dongles, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was available for pre-order. A positive element of Verizon`s growing 4G platform, Shammo said, is "the migration of data traffic from our 3G to our 4G network, which is highly desirable from a capital efficiency and profitability perspective and will help us drive improved returns in the future."

To that end, Verizon will also round out its 4G portfolio July 28, with the launch of its first 4G LTE notebook, the HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr. Measuring less than 1.2 inches thick and weighing 3.52 pounds, the notebook features an 11.6-inch high-definition BrightView LED display, a 1.6GH AMD dual-core processor, a 320GB hard drive and the Windows 7 Home Premium OS.

Priced at $600, Verizon will offer it with 5GB a month of data for $50 or 10GB for $80.


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