The two largest network operators in the US will begin selling the Lumia 2520 tablet from Nokia this week. The 2520 can connect to the LTE 4G networks of both operators and will be sold with or without a contract, depending on user preference.
The 2520 reaches Verizon Wireless first. It goes on sale Thursday, Nov. 21. The tablet's raw retail price is $499.99, but Verizon is offering it for $399.99 to those willing to sign a two-year contract. (Pro tip: Pay the full price and avoid a contract.) Verizon says the Lumia 2520 can be added to Share Everything plans for just $10 per month. Only the black model will be available in stores, but online shoppers can choose between black and red.
The 2520 hits AT&T stores just a day later, on Friday, Nov. 22. AT&T is offering several purchasing options. First, customers can choose to pay full price ($499.99) for the 2520. Second, customers who sign a two-year data contract can purchase the 2520 for $399.99. Last, customers who bundle the 2520 with the purchase of a Nokia Lumia 925, 1020, or 1520 smartphone will be able to pick up the tablet for just $199.99. Do yourself a favor: Skip the contract, pay the extra $100 for the no-commitment version, and use a month-to-month data plan. AT&T is selling only the black model.
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Nokia has not said when the noncarrier versions of the Lumia 2520 will go on sale.
The Lumia 2520 is Nokia's first foray into today's tablet market. The device features a 10.1-inch full HD screen with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. According to Nokia, it has a super-bright mode that makes it easier to see outdoors, and it is protected by Gorilla Glass 2. The 2520 adopts the colorful design language used by the company's smartphones, and it will be offered in red, cyan, white, and black. The shells are made from polycarbonate and have smooth lines.
The tablet is powered by a 2.2-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and has 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. It connects to most wireless networks and offers a spate of sensors. The Lumia 2520 has a 6.7-megapixel main camera and a two-megapixel user-facing camera. The device runs Windows RT 8.1, not the full version of Windows. (This will likely be its biggest linchpin.) Windows RT can run apps developed for RT and WP8.1, but not full Windows apps. In other words, the Lumia 2520 is a competitor with Microsoft's own Surface 2.
The tablet market has kicked into high gear just ahead of the holiday season. Apple has released both the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. Microsoft has released the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Amazon has released the Kindle Fire HDX, and there are innumerable Android tablets available. Fourth-quarter sales figures will be interesting to compare come January.
Consumerization 1.0 was "we don't need IT." Today we need IT to bridge the gap between consumer and business technology. Also in the Consumerization 2.0 issue of InformationWeek: Stop worrying about the role of the CIO (free registration required).