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iPad coming to Verizon, AT&T stores on October 28

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, October 14, 2010
News Categories: iPad

AT&T and Verizon Wireless have each announced that they will begin offering the iPad in their stores beginning on October 28. AT&T will offer all three models of the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at its more than 2,200 stores, while Verizon Wireless will offer the three iPad Wi-Fi models bundled with a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot for the same prices as the equivalent iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models: $629 for 16GB units, $729 for 32GB models, and $829 for 64GB devices, making the relative price of the MiFi $130. The MiFi 2200 is a portable, battery-powered hotspot that uses Verizon’s 3G cellular network to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal to up to five devices, including the Wi-Fi-only iPad, as well as the iPod touch and computers, eliminating the need for devices to have built-in cellular data hardware.

Verizon’s pricing for the bundle compares favorably with its listed retail MiFi price of $270, though the MiFi costs more than it would with a two-year Verizon contract; it is being offered for free after a $100 online discount. However, Verizon will offer a monthly access plan for iPad customers of up to 1GB of data for $20 a month—half the price and quadruple the data of the company’s traditional 250MB for $40/month MiFi offering—yet will provide iPad service on a month-to-month, no contract basis, a sign that a major deal was struck with Apple to improve upon its expensive current data plans to attract iPad customers, and possibly future iPhone customers, as well. Verizon will also offer the iPad in its stores on a standalone, un-bundled basis. “This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels,” said John Stratton, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. “iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.”

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Comments

1

I bought a WiFi only iPad (3 actually) and a Verizon Palm Pre + with its included 5GB mobile hotspot service. For $30 a month I have access for all 3 iPads, my MacBook and anything else that I want to use on the road. It’s been great for me.

I will always look to my phone to be a mobile hotspot as opposed to owning a tablet with 3G. Much more useful than a locked down data plan on the tablet.

Posted by Randy A on October 14, 2010 at 7:06 AM (PDT)

2

I use a MiFi with an iPod touch and occasionally, with an iPad. That 1 GB limit may prove to be a challenge for some people. Before I bought the iPad, I was averaging 900-1,000 MB/month. Now I typically use 1-1.8 GB/month. The obvious advantage of going this route is that the MiFi allows you to share your connection with up to five devices. Unfortunately, 1 GB isn’t a whole lot to share.

Another thing to consider is that the MiFi model currently sold by Verizon does not provide location data. So, while the bundle costs the same as the iPad 3G, it still lacks any type of GPS/location functionality.

Not a bad deal if AT&T’s coverage is poor in your area, or you just want a good deal on a no-contract MiFi. Just watch that 1 GB limit.

Posted by Paul on October 16, 2010 at 5:05 AM (PDT)

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