Speculation is mounting about the possibility of a tablet-style device from Apple. Latest rumors suggest that the company will launch a tablet exclusive to Verizon.
One of the many Mac-tablet mock-ups doing the rounds.Citing people familiar with the matter, USA Today yesterday reported that Apple and Verizon are discussing the possible development of an iPhone for Verizon with the goal of introducing it next year. While we conceded that it wasn’t entirely impossible, the fact that Verizon’s LTE 4G network isn’t being rolled out to the following year would mean Apple would have to develop an iPhone specifically for Verizon, which we decided was pretty unlikely.
Today BusinessWeek reports that it has learned of two completely new iPhone-like devices that may be distributed by Verizon wireless, depending on how current discussions pan out.
According to the report, one of these devices is like an “iPhone Lite,” however not much more details were offered aside from the fact that it will be different to what AT&T currently offers. The second device is slightly more interesting and is described as a "media pad" that would enable users to listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos. Aside from being a sort of all-in-one media device, it would also allow users to place calls over WiFi.
BusinessWeek goes on to detail that Verizon Wireless CEO, Lowell McAdam, confirmed that the company has spoken with Apple executives, claiming that he himself has spoken to Steve Jobs, "in the last six months." Despite McAdam’s refusal to divulge any more information on the talks, BW cites two people familiar with the subject who say discussions covered the new smaller iPhone-like device under development. Those same sources say we could see one of the two as early as this summer.
We’re still skeptical but it seems to fit in with recent reports regarding an Apple tablet and several new iPhones in June (as opposed to just one new device). Along with the fact that it would mean millions of new customers for Apple, this would mean would-be iPhoners would have to choose between this new iPhone Lite/iPhone Tablet and the new iPhone to be released on AT&T.
Check out the full story on BusinessWeek and let us know what you think.