By Evan Blass | January 26, 2011 9:10 AM
The device pictured above is nothing new: it’s the seven-inch Huawei Ideos S7 tablet phone. However, you’ve probably never seen these particular pictures of it before, because they are supposedly Best Buy Mobile image assets — yet only Best Buy proper sells the S7, and without mobile service. Even stranger, the images allegedly exist inside folders designated for both AT&T and T-Mobile devices — folders which are said to otherwise contain photos and renders of only released, in-stock models.
Now the version of this 768MHz-powered tabphone sold by Best Buy, S7-104, is compliant with both AT&T 3G bands, so it’s at least equipped to join that carrier’s lineup. On the other hand, there don’t seem to exist any S7 variants which would be able to surf T-Mobile’s broadband frequency, and we doubt that T-Mo would offer an EDGE-only model with resistive screen in today’s competitive 4G and “4G” environment (A higher-end, capacitive model, S7-105, does exist, but it also lacks T-Mobile HSDPA capabilities). T-Mobile is one of the only domestic carriers which has a solid relationship with the Chinese manufacturer — the T-Mobile Comet is a Huawei product — so if the S7 were going to any carrier, Magenta would normally be the most likely.
Unfortunately we don’t know any more than this, and while the supposed location of the images is quite suggestive, common sense is telling us that neither of these carriers is poised to introduce the low-cost device — especially since there doesn’t seem to be a potential T-Mobile version in any of the usual databases. For now we’ll chalk this up to an anomaly, but if for some reason the S7 does become subsidized on contract, it will be very interesting to see how consumers react.