Consumer Confidential: Verizon merger nixed, AT&T goes 3-D, BlackBerry tablet coming
--With AT&T gobbling up T-Mobile, all eyes have turned to Verizon and whether the company will now make a play for Sprint Nextel. For what it's worth, Verizon Wireless' chief exec, Dan Mead, says he isn't interested in courting Sprint. He told Dow Jones Newswires that although Verizon is following the merger action, "we're not going to get distracted by this." Mead did say, though, that he may be keen to scoop up any wireless assets that either AT&T or T-Mobile have to give up to make their merger fly with regulators. That said, it seems to me that anyone interested in buying something -- Sprint, say -- wouldn't go talking up the price by singing the praises of a deal. Just a thought.
--Speaking of our friends at AT&T, the company followed word of its $39-billion takeover of T-Mobile with the unveiling of what it calls the first 3-D smart phone in the United States. AT&T says the LG Thrill 4G is the first smart phone that will feature a "glasses-free" 4.3-inch stereoscopic 3-D display plus 4G speed. The iPhone may no longer be exclusive to AT&T, but the company says the LG Thrill 4G is, and will go on sale in AT&T stores later this year. It will offer 3-D content via the "LG 3D Space," which houses 3-D games, video clips and images. Maybe this will catch on with consumers. Or maybe it will just give people a headache. We'll see.
--And because we've got a solid telecom theme going today, one last bit of news: Research in Motion will unleash its new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on April 19. The device will sell for between $499 and $699, making it about the same price as an Apple iPad. Unlike the iPad, though, the PlayBook will have only a 7-inch screen. The iPad screen is 9.7 inches (which actually makes a big difference if you're watching video or playing games). The PlayBook will run BlackBerry software and connect to a phone, acting as a bigger screen for it. RIM is accepting pre-orders for the gadget now.
-- David Lazarus
Photo: Verizon says it isn't interested in merging with Sprint -- for now. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images