Product managers from tech companies get on a plane to China, do the technology corridor tour to see what a gazillion Chinese engineers are throwing up against the wall, select something, cut a deal, slap on a logo, and sell it to the masses. Here’s one from computer giant AT&T.
AT&T? Computer Giant?
Unfortunately, I’m sufficiently experienced that I remember when AT&T sold personal computers. So did Xerox and NCR and a host of companies. IBM once sold PCs, too. Remember those?
These days not many PC manufacturers make much money, what with Apple’s tiny marketshare sucking up over half the industry’s profits.
Yet, here we are, moving rapidly into the 21st century and AT&T thinks there’s a market for an add-on device it found somewhere in back alley in China. It’s called the AT&T Modio Smartcase for iPad mini.
Take a Wi-Fi only iPad mini and wrap it up in AT&T’s Modio and here’s what you get– up to 32GB of additional storage thanks to an external microSD card slot. A case. Every iPad needs a case. And AT&T’s 4G LTE cellular data network.
That’s right. A Wi-Fi only iPad mini can be connected to 4G LTE using the Modio case. It’s the nation’s strongest 4G LTE signal, you know. AT&T says so, so it must be true. You know, like ‘unlimited data.’ Modio also mods your iPad’s battery life with a built-in 4,600mAH dedicated battery to double the iPad mini’s battery life.
How much is this little gem from the Orient? AT&T won’t say. iPad cases run up to $100, and iPhone batteries run up to and beyond $100, and the cellular option for 4G LTE in an iPad runs to $129 more, so, do the math.
Here’s a view of my philosophy on life. The phone company is good at only one thing. Phone lines. Cable TV companies are good at only one thing. Bundled pricing. The government is good at only one thing. Spending money. The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason. And AT&T does not sell PCs anymore for a reason.