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Tech Rumor of the Day: Apple, Verizon Team Up on Tablet

The device, being from Apple, will come with a big price tag. To reduce some of the sticker shock, in a market awash in $300 netbooks, Verizon will pick up part of the buyer's cost. How that will work continues to be debated, though.

Unlike a smartphone, the tablet will be a data-only device. Voice plans are a big portion of the monthly consumer bill, and they offer a quick payback to telcos that lure customers into two-year contracts.

AT&T, for example, collects about $100 a month from an average iPhone customer. The voice portion of that is $68.40 a month, or about two-thirds of the bill, says Michael Cote a wireless strategy advisor with the Cote Collaborative. A subsidy on a data plan device, would by necessity be smaller than one that comes with a phone, says Cote.

The upshot: Apple will push a sleek, expensive tablet into a niche market. This is definitely intriguing, but not likely the device that leads Apple to even greater fortunes.

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