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Thoughts on how Apple tablet could rub against regulatory concerns

Here are a couple regulatory thoughts on Apple's expected tablet announcement Wednesday:

-Exclusive Carrier Parntership: Post Tech's Spidey senses are buzzing after Verizon Wireless News tweeted Monday that a big announcement was coming this week. What could be bigger than partnering up with Apple on its expected tablet computer with WiFi and 3G wireless connection? That could be good news for Verizon Wireless customers who have been watching AT&T iPhone customers with envy, unwilling to leave their contracts early or deal with reported network congestion issues with AT&T. Exclusive contracts are among the many issues being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission as smaller carriers like Cellular South have argued that such partnerships hurt small carriers who don't have the scale to strike deals for the latest and sleekest phones. Carriers say exclusive handset deals help them differentiate themselves from competitors. And handset makers like the fact that carriers have built in subscriber bases and are willing to foot the marketing bills to promote their phones.

-Intellectual Property Wars: To what extent will Apple and Nokia's patent battle bleed into the technology of the tablet? As a review, Apple and Nokia are in a tit for tat IP battle over certain patents related to mobile phone technology. Nokia last month filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission, saying Apple violated Nokia patents on graphic user interface technology, power-saving and synching technology.

The Post's Rob Pegoraro will be in San Francisco to cover the event, follow him at Faster Forward and on Twitter at rpegoraro.

By Cecilia Kang  |  January 26, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
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