Apple will be holding an iPad event this Wednesday in San Francisco where it will presumably be announcing the next iPad which may be called iPad 3 or iPad HD. One of the features that is heavily rumored to be on board is 4G LTE connectivity. 4G LTE connectivity allows devices to pull down data speeds that can be up to 10 times faster than those found on a typical 3G network.
If true, it would make the iPad 3 the first mobile device from Apple featuring these types of cellular data speeds. Perfect for watching Hulu Plus and Netflix on the go, downloading large Retina Display apps or uploading a movie shot on an improved iPad 3 camera.
Right now, only two of the major American carriers have a 4G LTE network in place and those of course are AT&T and Verizon. Both carriers also offer Apple’s iPhone 4S smartphone.
But there is another major U.S. carrier that plays host to the iPhone 4S.
As of right now, Sprint doesn’t have a 4G LTE network in place. It has plans to get it up by the middle of 2012, possibly as soon as April, when a contest for its first 4G LTE smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, is set to end.
So, like many consumers, we’ve begun to wonder.
Will Sprint get the iPad 3?
It has the iPhone 4S. It has the upcoming 4G LTE network. And, it could offer something that AT&T and Verizon can’t.
True unlimited data.
Thing is, we haven’t heard anything about a Sprint iPad. If you recall, the build up to the iPhone 4S on Sprint was immense. There were whispers galore. With the iPad 3, we’ve heard nothing but silence.
We’ve heard that AT&T and Verizon would be getting it, but not the Now Network.
And this gives me reason to believe that Sprint won’t get the iPad 3.
At least not at launch.
It would be strange to see Apple launch a product for a network that hasn’t arrived yet. Sure, Sprint could sell consumers on the fact that 4G LTE is coming and that the device could run on the carrier’s CDMA 3G network, but I think there would just been too much uncertainty in terms of LTE availability. In other words, it would be a tough sell for those not included in the initial launch cities.
Especially with the expensive price tags that are attached to the cellular models.
But I also see a demand for the iPad 3 on Sprint because of the carrier’s unlimited data. And that leads me to believe that Sprint might offer it further down the line when its 4G LTE network has a bigger footprint.
Remember, Verizon started offering the iPhone 4 eight months after it launched on AT&T and it sold incredibly well.
But the silence and the lack of a network seem to signal that there won’t be a Sprint iPad 3 announced on Wednesday.
Apple has been known to surprise us though, and maybe, just maybe, Sprint plans to launch its network sooner than expected.
Like, this month.
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