In an effort thwart off competition from Samsung Amazon, Apple will unveil the iPad 3 tomorrow that hopefully will include the higher speeds of 4G LTE.
There are already tablets on the market now running Google’s Android that are on 4G, but Apple’s newest device will give a measure of how much consumers are willing to spend to stream high quality video on the network.
“It’s going to dramatically improve video consumption,” said UBS analyst John Hodulik. “This is the device people want. They want the fastest speed. They want high resolution.”
Apple lead executive Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs, will lead the iPad’s debut at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Apple needs to watch out
Android table market shares in the fourth quarter rose to 39 percent from 29 percent a year ago, while the iPad’s share fell to 58 percent from 68 percent, based on statistics from according to Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston.
Given all the hype, 4G LTE tablets only account for 1% of tablet sales in 2011 given their higher cost to consumers.
Verizon may charge more for 4G data
Higher quality streaming video could hit consumers in the purse. Twice as much data may need to be streamed across the 4G network than what is currently bought on the $30 a month Verizon data plan.
Many carriers are expected to charge on a per use basis for streaming and downloading on the faster network.
Msnbc.com and NEXTGEN FM will be covering Wednesday’s iPad event live — visit gadgetbox.msnbc.msn.com and follow @wjrothman to stay up on the announcements.