AT&T, Verizon promote iPads and Galaxy tablets

4G World focus is on big data-usage devices

CHICAGO -- Tablet computers are bound to be big sellers, and the two largest U.S. wireless carriers are getting ready to embrace that trend with retail sales of the already popular iPad and the yet-to-be released Galaxy Tab later this fall.

Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. carrier, and AT&T, the second largest, announced separately last week that they will sell Apple iPads in their retail stores starting Oct. 28.

At 4G World here this week, both carriers also separately promoted Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy Tab. T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel will also sell Galaxy tablets, but none of the carriers have announced release dates or pricing information.

Verizon allowed reporters at 4G World to try out a Galaxy device, which features a seven-inch touchscreen. The unit that was available for testing had a Verizon trademark, but photographs were not allowed.

A Verizon employee showed how the Galaxy can be carried in a suit coat pocket, and he demonstrated that at least 20 apps could run at the same time. He also showed the tablet running a popular TV show in streaming video (using the Verizon CDMA network). He did have to repeatedly clean fingerprints off of the screen, and as he did so he said, "That's really the only problem with it."

Given a brief opportunity to handle the Galaxy, this reporter found it to be lightweight and easy to hold and noticed that its virtual keyboard reacted promptly to touches.

The Verizon rep said he hadn't noticed any problems running apps from the Android Market. Galaxy maker Samsung has acknowledged that there might be some problems with Android Market apps running on the Galaxy's seven-inch screen, since many Android apps were designed for smaller smartphone screens. Last month, Samsung said some apps purchased at the Android Market will run in a smaller window that doesn't fill the full seven-inch screen.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

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