AT&T, Verizon promote iPads and Galaxy tablets

4G World focus is on big data-usage devices

CHICAGO -- Tablets 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.

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

At 4G World here this week, both carriers also separately promoted the coming Galaxy Tab . T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel will also sell the Galaxy, but no one has discussed a release date or price.

Verizon allowed reporters to use the Galaxy device with its 7-inch touchscreen. The specific unit they showed had a Verizon trademark, but photographs were not allowed.

A Verizon employee showed how the Galaxy can be pocketed in a suit coat, and 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) but had to clear off fingerprints from the touchscreen repeatedly. ("That's really the only problem with it," he said.)

Based on a brief opportunity to hold the Galaxy, this reporter noticed it provided prompt reactions to touches on its virtual keyboard and felt lightweight and easy to hold.

The Verizon rep said he hadn't noticed any problems running apps optimally from the Android Market. Samsung, the Galaxy maker, has admitted there might be some problems with Android Market apps running on the larger 7-inch Galaxy screen, since many of the apps were designed for smaller smartphone screens. Last month, Samsung said some apps acquired from the Android Market will run at a smaller size than the full 7-inch screen.

Read more about mobile apps and services in Computerworld's Mobile Apps and Services Topic Center.

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