updated 09:45 am EDT, Wed May 11, 2011
Cisco Cius not coming for ATT 3G until fall
Cisco both bolstered and faced setbacks its plans for tablets in the workforce with plans for an AT&T-native version of the Cius. The seven-inch Android tablet will come with HSPA+ 3G for AT&T's network but won't ship until the fall, several months after the basic version. The Cius can still handle video and voice calls both in "wired environments," using the phone dockm as well as over wireless.
AT&T and Cisco were now working together with developers to help develop unique apps for the Cius and to get them to the market faster, the two said.
The timing reflects Cisco's historically conservative scheduling but would put the Cius on AT&T over a year after it was first unveiled. It also follows the unusual silence over a planned Verizon 4G model that was supposed to ship in March but hasn't materialized on Verizon's website.
Such a late launch could be a significant problem for Cisco. The Cius has been pitched as a telepresence device that could let users remotely tap into resources at work and modernize corporate communication with personal 720p video chat, but the long schedule for launches has given Apple a window where it's now the dominant choice for companies adopting tablets. About 75 percent of the Fortune 500 is either testing or actively using iPads at work. Many of these can now use video conferencing on the iPad 2 and could partly defeat one of Cisco's primary advantages.