Now that Apple has announced that the new iPad includes 4G LTE, 4G hotspot capability for tethering other devices, as well as HSPA+ at 21 Mbps and dual-carrier HSDPA at 42 Mbps, mobile broadband will enter into a new era. Not that the iPad is the first LTE tablet, but its popularity and iconic role in the adoption of multiple connected, portable devices per person give it significant clout in the world of mobile broadband. In fact, the iPad has been the device with the highest level of customer satisfaction at AT&T. Although the $130 differential in price between a WiFi-only iPad or 3G/4G models will continue to sway many consumers to forego the 4G option for now, the ability of the Apple brand to attract tablet customers without subsidies bode well for LTE iPad adoption.
Video is compelling on a tablet, and will be even more compelling on the new iPad Retina display. Think of video not just as video consumption but also video communications (think video chat and video conferencing) and video creation (think upload of HD videos to share with friends on social networking sites). Likewise, LTE is compelling as a network to deliver quality video. An increasing array of video optimization solutions (see our reports on mobile video and free executive summary) will help to make video delivery on LTE more cost effective and deliver a quality user experience. Our Mobile Broadband Opportunities service will be following the impact of the new iPad with new mobility options on mobile operator performance as well as multi-device data plans LTE-go-to-market strategies – so stay tuned!