Yup, Cisco is still moving forward with the Cius, its woefully misguided video conferencing and collaboration-focused tablet. Now AT&T has announced that it will be selling the device, which will take advantage of its HSPA+ 4G network, this fall.
The Cius seemed interesting enough when we first reported on it a year ago, but its luster has worn off as more tablets have hit the market, and we’ve learned that Cisco isn’t really pushing it as a consumer tablet. But will anybody care about it come the fall, when it will have to contend with the iPad 2 (and possibly iPad 3) and more polished Android 3.0 tablets? I think not.
The Cius hasn’t yet launched outside of AT&T’s network, but it could be hitting Cisco’s channel partners within the next few months. But even that is too little, too late.
Even though it’s an Android tablet that can run typical Android applications, Cisco has been positioning the Cius as a more business-oriented alternative to the iPad. To wit, it features access to Cisco’s collaboration and video conferencing software like WebEx and TelePresence, as well as the ability to work on documents locally or in the cloud. But while that may have seemed unique a year ago, today the iPad is positioning itself as a valid business tablet, and Android tablets are quickly gaining ground as well.
And considering that the Cius’s video and voice chat features are only available when docked when used with a home or business broadband connection, the tablet seems even less useful on the go.
There aren’t any pricing details yet, but given that Cisco is aiming for enterprise customers with this thing, you can bet it won’t be a consumer-friendly $500.