In May 2011, AT&T announced plans to support the Cius on the AT&T HSPA+ network. Verizon and Cisco also plan on adding 4G LTE support to the Cisco Cius. Since then I have seen rehashes of the same announcement repeated on various sources, with no real indication as to “when”.
In November, I spoke with a representative of Cisco who unofficially stated that on November 17th the AT&T model would be launched. I checked Cisco’s web site and Googled like a bandit to see if I could find more information than I have previously seen. Nada.
I then camped on Cisco’s doorstep to monitor for two documents that would tell me the product is nearing launch. The first are the release notes. On November 30th, Cisco published the Cisco Cius 9.2(2) release notes.
In the release notes, I found a more direct statement on 4G support with the Cius device. Though, no direct mention of AT&T or Verizon. Oh, and I guess it is worth noting that 9.2(2) Cius firmware was not released on 11/30/2011. The Cius WiFi version of 9.2(2) showed up on Cisco’s website on December 5th.
Yesterday, I found that Cisco has also released version 9.2(2) of the Cius Administration Guide. There is a whole chapter on Cius 4G that gives more direct statements around AT&T support.
So, what does this mean? Historically, I have found that when Cisco starts publishing admin guides, release notes, and the like on CCO, the doors will start opening within 4 – 6 weeks. In the case of the Cius device, release notes by themselves aren’t enough since there is a Cius WiFi-only model that would use the same firmware. The admin guide reference to AT&T 4G is more definitive than most information I have seen thus far.
I’d expect to see more concrete (and usable) information on product availability this month. I feel pretty confident that the AT&T version will be available before or during Q1CY2012. Of course ordering a product and having it general available for shipping are different things altogether.
The Verizon version? Well, I have nothing more to offer other than what you can find today. The last I heard that Verizon 4G support will closely follow the release of the AT&T HSPA+ support. Specifically, I heard that Verizon support will be available by Q2CY2012.
About the Cius. Cisco positions the Cius tablet as a business-grade product. Meaning, you won’t find it at your local Best Buy or any other consumer retail outlet.
You can find out about the Cius by going to Cisco.com. Rumors about new form factors and the immediate product futures are all over the web, but I like Roger Cheng’s take.