Cisco's Cius tablet will be available on AT&T's HSPA+ wireless network starting this fall, according to AT&T and Cisco. The two companies are also working together to enlist third party developers for business applications on Cius, AT&T and Cisco said Wednesday.
Cius, an Android-based tablet positioned by Cisco as a unified communications endpoint, was first announced in June 2010, and details on its availability have gradually been revealed since then. The Wi-Fi model of Cius was made available through Cisco Master and Advanced Unified Communications partners starting March 31, with priority availability for what Cisco called "early field trial" customers.
Cisco has maintained that Cius will come in below $1,000, although neither AT&T nor Cisco confirmed pricing Wednesday. Cisco told CRN in early April that "pricing structures are expected to support targeted end-user pricing ranging to below $700 for volume purchases."
The Cius, which is manufactured by touchscreen device vendor OpenPeak, according to FCC documents filed in March, weighs 1.5 pounds, includes a front-mounted 720p HD camera, a 7-inch VGA touch-target display, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and other features. It's supported by Cisco's UC Manager and also supports Cisco collaboration products like Quad, WebEx and Presence. It will initially run version 2.2 of Google Android, also known as Froyo.
The move makes AT&T the second major U.S. carrier to announce Cius availability. Verizon previously said it would sell a 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) version of Cisco's Cius in the spring.
Shawn Conroy, vice president of voice, collaboration and unified communications services, AT&T Business Solutions, said Cius would help AT&T position its business and government customers well.
"The Cisco Cius further extends our leading portfolio of enterprise mobility devices, and this is the latest example of our commitment to helping organizations of all sizes increase business velocity," Conroy said in a statement.
"Business professionals today demand mobile devices that combine communication, collaboration and a powerful computing solution," added Steve Slattery, vice president and general manager, IP Communications, at Cisco. "The Cisco Cius united with AT&T's world-class network helps provide just the interaction and information they need to fundamentally change how employees go about their work."