Sprint Looks To Expand Tablet Offering As Businesses Ditch Notebooks For Tablets

Sprint is planning to expand its tablet portfolio next year in an effort to attract business customers who want to replace laptops with lower cost, more portable tablets. "There's a lot of interest in tablets, a greater degree of interest and faster adoption than I've seen in any other product," Paget Alves, Sprint's business markets President, told Reuters in an interview. "I can't think of anything that's moved this quickly."

Alves also said businesses are considering tablets as a replacement for notebooks for employees such as salespeople who need to view corporate documents but who may not be involved in creating them. "Those users, which are the majority of service companies employees, can easily be accommodated by a tablet and therefore they end up with a cheaper alternative to the notebook," Alves said.

Apple ignited the tablet market earlier this year with the launch of its iPad. Since then, many other manufacturers have announced plans to compete in the tablet market. Samsung's Galaxy Tab has been a hit, and many business customers are also looking forward to the upcoming PlayBook from RIM.

Although Sprint hasn't announced specific plans, Alves said his company plans to have a broad portfolio of tablets in 2011. In a recent interview with Forbes, Alves said Sprint plans to introduce a tablet with WiMAX service sometime next year.