Verizon Wireless is now selling its very own tablet branded under its name. Following a series of leaks, the carrier announced the Ellipsis 7 tablet this morning. It's an Android tablet that looks like it was designed to compete with affordable 7-inch tablets like the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HDX. The specifications remain largely unknown: Verizon promises it has an "HD" screen, LTE connectivity, and a front-facing camera. It appears to be running a near-stock version of Android Jelly Bean. The carrier says it will go on sale on November 7th for $249.99 off-contract, which makes it a bit more than the Nexus 7, which starts at $229 directly from Google.
But the specifications of this inexpensive Android tablet are hardly the most interesting thing about the Ellipsis 7. The tablet represents a very unusual move. With its own tablet, Verizon is competing with the devices from other manufacturers — like Apple and Samsung — that it sells in its stores. (Note: Verizon is certainly using a third-party manufacturer like Quanta or Foxconn, known as an ODM, to design and produce the tablet.) The carrier notes that the Ellipsis 7 is "the first product from Verizon Wireless in the Ellipsis family," and it includes access to the RedBox Instant streaming service, which is run as a joint venture with Verizon. It's unclear what Verizon's plans are here and what sort of other devices it will release in the future under the Ellipsis brand. The carrier didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Update: Verizon has provided some more detailed specifications. The Ellipsis 7 has a 1280 x 800, 7-inch IPS display, 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and an unspecified 1.2GHz quad-core processor. The full specs are available in our product database.