Verizon Wireless is currently testing Apple iPads on its CDMA networks, according to reports from the Boy Genius Report.
This report is light on details but there’s confirmation that the device is CDMA, although there may also be some Long-Term Evolution components as well. Verizon is in the middle of an aggressive LTE rollout as part of its push for 4G services. Big Red’s 4G services should be live in up to 40 markets by the end of the year and we know it will be offering tiered-pricing plans for the next generation of mobile broadband.
Testing iPads makes a lot of sense, as rumors have suggested that Verizon and Apple have been flirting with iProducts for years. When it was first introduced, there was still some question about how well the iPad would be received because tablets have done nothing but fail in the past. Apple seems to have bottled lightning with its “magical” device as it has shipped more than 2 million units in less than 60 days, which is even more impressive when you consider it hadn’t been shipping to most international markets.
Does this mean that an iPad on Verizon is imminent? It’s still way too early to tell, as it’s plausible that Big Red is just doing its due diligence. Besides, some analysts have said the no-contract data plans with the 3G iPad have extended Apple’s exclusivity deal with AT&T.
Another interesting wrinkle in this story is that our spies have told us Google and Verizon are working together to create an iPad-killer based on Android. Not much is known about this device but it is supposed to be coming directly from Google and Big Red will naturally be providing the mobile connectivity. I’d imagine it to be an iPad-like device with Android, a USB port or two and a decent camera.
We know there’s going to be a plethora of Android tablets out soon but many of these will lack the strong marketing machine behind the iPad. The Google tablet should receive the full might of Verizon’s marketing team, which can be formidable. The nation’s largest wireless carrier reportedly pumped nearly $100 million into campaigns for the Motorola Droid and I wind up seeing that handset around town almost as much as the iPhone.
Depending on how good the Google tablet turns out to be, Verizon may not even need Apple’s tablet.
[Via Boy Genius Report]