AT&T Brings LTE Jetstream Tablet In For Astonishingly High Price

Not quite sure HTC and AT&T really thought this one through. The good news is that the first LTE / HSPA+ Android tablet has been officially launched. The bad news, though, is really bad. As in, you'll probably never buy one, and we can't blame you for scoffing and moving on. The new HTC Jetstream is a 10.1" Honeycomb device with Android 3.1, Sense UX, a powerful 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and -- for a limited time -- a free HTC Scribe digital pen accessory. All that sounds fine and good, but there's one major roadblock: it cost $849 without a contract, and even with a 2-year deal, it's still $699.99.

That's monumentally expensive. In reality, most consumers won't pay attention to the cutting-edge CPU nor the LTE radio. They'll take one look at the price, and move on. AT&T also sells Apple's 3G iPad, which is far, far less expensive and is sold without a 2-year chain to AT&T. How do you convince people to buy Android tablets over the default iPad? Not by charging hundreds more.

On September 4, the tablet will be available exclusively to AT&T customers online and in company-owned retail stores, and AT&T postpaid tablet customers now have a new $35, 3 GB monthly data plan option with a two-year contract. Customers who do not choose a long-term commitment may still select one of two existing monthly billing options:
  • Postpaid:  $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB. Customers on the 2 GB plan who exceed their monthly data allotment will be charged $10 per 1 GB of overage.  Charges will appear on customers’ monthly wireless statements.
  • Prepaid:  $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB. Customers on the 2 GB plan who exceed their monthly data allotment may choose to purchase an additional 2 GB for $25.  Charges will appear on customers’ credit card statements.