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AT&T to sell Cisco's business-focused tablet

12 мая 2011

AT&T Inc. said it would sell Cisco Systems Inc.'s tablet, the second U.S. carrier to support the business-centric device.

AT&T plans to offer the Cius (pronounced see-us) tablet in the fall to its business customers. Verizon Wireless earlier said it would sell a 4G version of the tablet in the spring.

The Cius, which runs on Google Inc.'s Android software, is Cisco's attempt to breach the red-hot tablet market. The company is taking a similar tact as Research in Motion Ltd. in attempting to tap its business customers to drive sales of the device.

It's unclear whether that is a strategy that will pay off. RIM's PlayBook, which like the Cius is a seven-inch business-centric tablet, has only seen modest initial sales. Other companies such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. have gone after the consumer market first. Few tablets, however, have proven to be blockbusters outside of Apple Inc.'s iPad.

Cisco badly needs a hit product in any area. The company faces tougher competition in its key switching business and questions about its growth prospects. The company is in the process of streamlining its operations, having shuttered its consumer-centric Flip video camera business. Last week, the company said it would simplify its oft-criticized management structure, paring down the bureaucracy in its sales, services and engineering divisions.

Cisco reports its fiscal third-quarter results after the close of the market on Wednesday. Wall Street expects the company to report revenue growth of 5% to $10.86 billion, and a 12% decline in per-share earnings to 37 cents.

AT&T said it is working jointly with Cisco and third-party developers to create business programs for the Cius.

The price of the Cius wasn't provided, and AT&T didn't say whether it would provide a subsidy for the device.

The Cius is part of Cisco's strategy to drive more video-collaboration products in the workplace. More video means more data traffic, which translates to more demand for the company's network equipment. The tablet can be plugged into a docking device that includes a handset and speaker-phone capabilities.

Cisco shares rose 0.8% to $17.93.

Источник: Total Telecom

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