There are basically two ways to offer a 3G-capable tablet. You can offer hardware that has built-in cellular data capabilities, or you can offer a WiFi-only tablet and an optional 3G adapter. Huawei has a slightly different approach.

The company is starting to push its new UltraStick solution which is a tiny 3G module that device makers can easily add to existing WiFi tablets without completely redesigning the hardware. One of the first tablets with a Huawei UltraStick is expected to be the Chuwi V99x.

Huawei UltraStick

Basically the Huawei UltraStick has the guts of the kind of 3G adapter that you’d normally plug into a USB port. But it’s small enough to easily fit inside a tablet case so it doesn’t stick out from the edge.

That way, device makers that want to offer 3G and WiFi-only models of their tablets don’t have to use different case designs for each, and they don’t need to replace the central processor with a system-on-a-chip that supports 3G. They can just slide the Huawei UltraStick into place on some models, and not on others.

Chwi V99x

The upcoming Chuwi V99X tablet will feature a 9.7 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display, a Rockchip RK3188 quad-core processor, up to 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and support for 3G data and phone calling thanks to the Huawei UltraStick module.

via CNBeta

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10 replies on “Huawei UltraStick could bring 3G to low-cost tablets”

    1. Actually it makes point in India as we have 1 gb 3g data + Unlimited 2g data for $5 along with $4.5 prepaid talk time

  1. The electrical interface is USB? So it is just like a squished 3.3mm USB stick?

    Any idea on the pricing? Huawei 3G USB modems are under $25 retail.

    1. Actually I guess this comes along with tablets, than separate modem. Actual benefit is for the manufacturers, now they can use low cost chipsets without 3g support and put this on tablet and make it 3g enabled.

    2. Yes, USB has long been the standard for connecting cellular modems both externally and internally…

  2. Didn’t Archos try this already? I don’t think it sold well, as they dropped it on gen10.

    I think it would work better if they tried to adapt this for ram and flash upgrades. But then that would extend the life of a product, and that would be a bad thing from the churn point of view…

    1. This isn’t really aimed at consumers so much as manufacturers, if I’m reading my Google translated articles correctly. The idea is that they can manufacture a single version of the tablet, and then ship it either with or without 3G simply by sliding in a module. That way they don’t have to manufacture two different models with different internals.

      1. I think that option already exist. The Toshiba i have sitting around was modular enough that you could in theory pop it open and insert a 3G module. And if it is not aimed at users, why show it as externally accessible?

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