AT&T thinks all tablets will eventually include cellular radios standard

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
As the price of cellular radios comes down, AT&T believes that eventually all tablets will include them, giving users the choice of data on the go without paying extra for hardware.

Currently, most iPads and other tablets bought by consumers are Wi-Fi-only. Apple charges a $130 premium for iPad models with cellular connectivity, to offset the cost of 3G and 4G LTE radios, while most other tablet makers charge a $50 premium for cellular-equipped models.

But Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T, told Macworld he believes that as the cost of cellular radios drops, many tablet makers will sell only models with cellular data connectivity built in. That would give users the choice of whether or not to subscribe to a data plan, without needing to pay a greater up-front cost for hardware.

"All devices should have all capabilities built in from the beginning," Lurie said.

A big step toward universal connectivity could come this year, as major U.S. carriers are gearing up to offer new data plans that can be shared across multiple devices. For example, a user could pay for one AT&T data plan, and have their allotment available via both an iPhone and an iPad.

LTE


AT&T mobile business CEO Ralph de la Vega told CNet this week that his company intends to offer a "family data plan" in the near future, allowing consumers to buy an allotment of data that can be used by multiple devices. Though de la Vega said he's "comfortable" with the plan AT&T will offer to its customers, he declined to give any specifics as to how it will work or what the pricing model will be.

Another barrier that remains is the price of radios: Cellular HSPA+ radios compatible with AT&T's 3G network now cost about $30 on average. But 4G LTE radios, like the ones found in Apple's new iPad, are still as high as $70.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29


    Thinks=Wants.

  • Reply 2 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    AT&T also thinks it can get away with its current business model.


     


    Hee hee hee… 

  • Reply 3 of 29
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) I can see that eventually happening after we get HW that can handle all the available bands for LTE and if the price drops significantly. Licensing fees are still a major barrier outside of HW costs.

    2) Apple is surely making a profit on their premium model iPads but it's not excessive. Just look t what a cellular USB stick cost you off contract. I remember paying $350 for mine. I think other tablet makers are selling at or slow cost in an attempt to compete with the iPad.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,458member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    AT&T also thinks it can get away with its current business model.


     


    Hee hee hee… 



     


    The handwriting is on the wall.  With the launch of the iPhone, total control was removed from the carriers over the handset.  Everything else will follow.  A universal radio standard would be nice too.

  • Reply 5 of 29
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    I think Apple should put up its own Wi-Fi networks on every street throughout each city in which they have a retail store. Then expand iMessage to include VOIP to call regular phone numbers like Skype. If they did that we would see very competitive pricing from the cell carriers.

  • Reply 6 of 29
    statcoderstatcoder Posts: 14member


    One thing you can be sure of is the carriers aren't going to do anything that lowers their overall revenue.  If you think that these new plans are going to lower your overall cost of wireless service then you've got another thing coming.  They don't do that.

  • Reply 7 of 29
    blackfrogblackfrog Posts: 18member
    Apple won't do that until they've squeezed the carriers further.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    starbirdstarbird Posts: 42member


    Like a few have said, until there is one chip to rule them all, this won't happen.


     


    Unless he is suggesting that he and Dan Mead (VZW), Dan Hesse (Sprint), Robert Dotson (T-Moble), not to mention all carriers world wide, are already in talks to come to agreement on one standard....


     


    image


     


    Sorry, I couldn't leave this with a straight face...

  • Reply 9 of 29
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    icoco3 wrote: »
    The handwriting is on the wall.  With the launch of the iPhone, total control was removed from the carriers over the handset.  Everything else will follow.  A universal radio standard would be nice too.

    1) It would be nice if it was included and Apple offered a modicum of dedicated service for Find My iPad much in the same cellular capable Kindles don't require a cellular data package. Unfortunately, with Apple being the only viable tablet that doesn't seem like good business.

    2) LTE's air interface does usher in more of a universal standard than we've ever seen before. The problem now lie with the number of operating bands being used as there is simply no way around that but to keep adding more to the HW.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,453member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    1) I can see that eventually happening after we get HW that can handle all the available bands for LTE and if the price drops significantly. Licensing fees are still a major barrier outside of HW costs.

    2) Apple is surely making a profit on their premium model iPads but it's not excessive. Just look t what a cellular USB stick cost you off contract. I remember paying $350 for mine. I think other tablet makers are selling at or slow cost in an attempt to compete with the iPad.


     


    1) Since it hasn't happened with laptops yet, I'd be surprised if it happened for all iPads much less all tablets within the next 2 or 3 years in the US.  Still too many legacy network technologies across so many spectrum ranges.  And lots of investment to make back in that LTE development.


     


    2) All my iPad purchases including gifts have had the radios just to have the on/off option.  It's worth the extra coin to have the option at the ready and I agree that it is reasonably priced upgrade.


     


    Shared data, like shared minutes is a slick concept.  I rarely use my iPhone for data while using my iPad for data.  Even cooler, shared pool of data across multiple vendor gear.  Many families are split between android, iOS and Windows mobile stuff.  I wonder if the account owner or delegate will be able to configure/enforce quotas per device.  Shared minutes and rollover are a pretty good pull.  Now if they'll do roll-over of some portion of the unused data in their capped plans....  

  • Reply 11 of 29
    mytdavemytdave Posts: 434member


    AT&T *hopes* all tablets will eventually include cellular radios standard.  They could be right, but I'm guessing that the end result will be *most* tablets will have cellular radios, but there will always be a low cost WiFi only model somewhere for the price conscious consumers.

  • Reply 12 of 29
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member


    The only reason AT&T is saying all tablets (or by extension, everything) will contain cellular devices is because that's their only source of income (outside the 2 year purchase commitment). iMessage is a threat to AT&T's SMS income as is WiFi. (For those of you using AT&T's internet services I feel sorry for you.) I would imagine that AT&T makes most of it's money on data and SMS plans so of course they want to see equipment that will allow them to continue to rip off everyone (me included) with expensive monthly usage charges.

  • Reply 13 of 29
    luxom3luxom3 Posts: 96member


    FWIW - this isn't TOO unreasonable. 


     


    Apple LOVES to over market and overcharge for REALLY common hardware features. Like it's a massive upgrade. Like the memory for an 8GB,16GB, 32GB iPhone really adds the $100+to the costs.


     


    Given Apple makes $200-$400 in gross profit off each mobile device... somehow $5-$20 for a 4G/LTE chip isn't too much of a stretch.

  • Reply 14 of 29
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member


    As will all mobile devices... e-ven-tu-al-ly.

  • Reply 15 of 29
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,453member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    As will all mobile devices... e-ven-tu-al-ly.



     


    Yep, that seems to be the key word.  When execs speak, they do strategic talk and have to be vague on dates and features.

  • Reply 16 of 29
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 501member


    I mostly agree with AT&T here.  Eventually, the vast majority of all mobile devices (especially tablets) will have cell radios as standard equipment.  But the days of needing a phone plan are going to come to an end.  All we're going to need is a data plan.  AT&T should be shaking in their boots over that one.


     


    I don't need a phone plan.  I don't need minutes.  I don't need a text plan.  I need data.  If somebody offered a data plan only for iPhone, I'd dump AT&T this coming summer/fall when I upgrade from my iPhone 4 to whatever the next iPhone will be.  Yeah, I'd have to pay full price, but it'd be worth it.

  • Reply 17 of 29
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,453member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post


    I mostly agree with AT&T here.  Eventually, the vast majority of all mobile devices (especially tablets) will have cell radios as standard equipment.  But the days of needing a phone plan are going to come to an end.  All we're going to need is a data plan.  AT&T should be shaking in their boots over that one.


     


    I don't need a phone plan.  I don't need minutes.  I don't need a text plan.  I need data.  If somebody offered a data plan only for iPhone, I'd dump AT&T this coming summer/fall when I upgrade from my iPhone 4 to whatever the next iPhone will be.  Yeah, I'd have to pay full price, but it'd be worth it.



     


    I'm sure more than AT&T is thinking about it.  It will be interesting to see how the FCC reacts to this shift when it's not a phone anymore; when there's not a voice network that's discernible.  Although even LTE has a discrete voice component.

  • Reply 18 of 29
    yensid98yensid98 Posts: 302member


    Sorry, but I don't want my only option to be a 4G/Wi-Fi iPad.  I'd never pay AT&T their high fee just to check an email, post a pic or play a game.  I'd much rather wait until I can do it over my already expensive Wi-Fi network at home or some other place where I don't pay.  Besides, that black rubber bar on the 4G iPad is not attractive.

  • Reply 19 of 29
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member


    Area of need for this to happen 


     


    1.  Unified standard for LTE and good coverage of 3G for fallback 


    2.  Low cost low power chip and antenna system 


    3.  Shared Data Plans becoming the norm 


    4. Carriers moving to cloud enablement for some of their features. 

  • Reply 20 of 29
    bwinskibwinski Posts: 164member
    [CENTER][/CENTER]AND, since Apple will control all the data (voice,data, video,other telemetry) to the tablet and AT&T will still bef sitting on the curb with a flash card saying 'look at me' I got NOTHING- GIVE ME MONEY' ... And we say NOT ! They will perish...AMF !,,
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