Verizon announces self-branded “Ellipsis” tablet, the first of a new family of products [update]

November 5, 2013
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verizon-tablet

We all know how much Verizon likes to puts its logos on things, preferably as big and bold as possible. With that in mind, we are about to see a brand new tablet with the Verizon and 4G LTE logos – and nothing else.

Today Verizon unveiled the self-branded Ellipsis 7, a 7-inch budget device with a price tag of $249.99 without contract. If for some crazy reason you want to lock yourself into a two-year contract, you can also get the tablet for $100 off.

The device’s specs are still pretty much unknown, though we do know it will have LTE connectivity baked in, as well as a front-facing camera and an “HD” screen. It also looks like the device is running a near-stock version of Android Jelly Bean, though we can expect a fairshare of ‘special’ Verizon apps as well.

With self-branded devices Verizon no longer has to deal with a major manufacturer when it comes to decisions like branding, bootlocking, OS updates and carrier bloatware.

The Verizon-branded tablet is expected to arrive November 7th, both in-stores and online. While we can’t imagine the specs will end up being too impressive, this is still a pretty interesting move.

By creating its own line of tablets, Verizon is attempting to use its own brand name to push ODM devices to its consumer base. It’s also bringing competition to other third-party devices it sells from companies such as Apple and Samsung.

That said, we aren’t too surprised. This isn’t that much different than what Verizon already is doing with the Droid brand, though there they do partner with a major manufacturer — now exclusively Motorola. Big Red likes control over its devices, and with self-branded devices Verizon no longer has to deal with a major manufacturer when it comes to decisions like branding, bootlocking, OS updates and carrier bloatware.

Verizon confirms that the new tablet is the first product in an upcoming family of Ellipsis products, which will likely include low and mid-range handsets as well. Whether Ellipsis can do for Verizon what the Droid brand has, remains unseen.

What do you think, is this a smart move on Verizon’s part? Will less-tech-savvy customers be lured in by these low-cost Verizon-branded devices?

Update (11/7): As expected, the Ellipsis 7 has now arrived in stores for $249.99 outright, or $149.99 with contract. We have also learned that the device is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU with 8GB of RAM. Other specs include a 7-inch 1280×800 LCD display, a 4000 mAh battery, 3.2MP rear cam and a near-stock version of Android 4.2 — though you can expect plenty of Verizon bloatware.

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