Well it’s not the Verizon iphone announcement people have been waiting for, but today Apple and Verizon did say that a WiFi only version of the ipad would start selling on Verizon before the end of the month.
The 3G version of ipad is still under an exclusive agreement with AT&T prohibiting sale of it on other carriers so Verizon and Apple have crafted a deal to get around that problem. A WiFi only ipad combined with Verizon’s MiFi 2200 hot spot device will give the WiFi ipad 3G connectivity on Verizon … plus up to 4 other user devices can also share the hot spot.
Bundled packages for a WiFi ipad plus MiFi modem will retail on Verizon for:
- 16GB ipad + MiFi: $629.99
- 32GB ipad + MiFi: $729.99
- 64GB ipad + MiFi: $829.99
Verizon is packaging the MiFi with a 1GB monthly plan for $20 which sandwiches itself between the two plans AT&T offers 3G ipad users. A 200MB plan for $15 and a 2GB plan for $25.
The Verizon bundle means you have two things to carry around instead of just one … but the hot spot thingy is only about the size of a pack of cigarettes and by offering connectivity to the user’s other Wifi gear from 30 to 40 feet away, that may make it a good trade off.
Batteries are another consideration …. two packs instead of one. Tests have indicated that a battery powered WiFi ipad running on a 3G modem can stay connected for up to 8 hours on one charge where as the MiFi modem supporting 4 connections can only stay online for about 90 minutes on a charge.
There has been a flurry of announcements lately from other manufacturers bringing out their versions of a tablet pc. Which one is the best tablet pc? Can anyone knock Apple’s ipad off its pedestal? Stay tuned. The market will have to sort these things out over time.