iPad powering chip in more tablets in US this year

Broadcom Corp, whose chips power Apple Inc's iPad (which runs on AT&T Inc's mobile network), expects more tablet computers using its chips to hit the U.S. market as early as this year, according to an executive for Broadcom.

The company is in talks with U.S. service providers about rolling out the tablets. However declining to name any specific top U.S. providers, a group which includes Verizon Communications, AT&T Inc and Comcast Corp.

According to Broadcom, the next operators who offer tablets will be expanding the category with applications ranging from video display and video conferencing to baby monitors and home security systems.

Depending on which chips are included the device could cost the operator $70 to $120. The buyers will have to opt for plans from the operators that will be additional of the device price. As obvious, the plans will make for the bear share of the tablet+plan combine. Broadcom sees the operators even offering the device for free.

Verizon Wireless has said last month that it will offer tablet computers based on Android later this year.
Overseas, Japan's NTT DoCoMo and UK operator BT Group PLC have tested Broadcom-powered tablets and are expected to launch them commercially around the third quarter this year. Broadcom own tablet manufacturing partners include Gemtek, South Korea's Moimstone, Asustek Computer unit Pegatron and the LG Nortel unit of LG Electronics. --------

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