iPad's 3G unlimited service: $30 a month on AT&T
Some will buy a Wi-Fi-only iPad and skip the 3G cost, analyst says
Computerworld - Apple Inc.'s new iPad tablet supports Wi-Fi, and some models will support 3G wireless service in the U.S. at what many consider a bargain price of $30 a month for unlimited data on AT&T's network.
To illustrate how good that $30 price tag is, Apple CEO Steve Jobs proudly noted at today's iPad unveiling that a broadband 3G card for laptops costs an average of $60 a month.
Users who don't want to pay the $30 can get 250MB of data service for $15 per month.
IPad customers will have pay an extra $130 on top of the base price of the 3G-ready models to get the faster 3G service. Prices are $499 for the 16GB model, $629 for a 3G 16GB model, $729 for a 3G 32GB model, and $829 for a 3G 64GB model. The Wi-Fi-only models will be available in 60 days, and devices that support 3G will ship in 90 days.
The two biggest questions facing users might well be: "Do I need 3G?" and "If I get 3G, will it work, since 3G on AT&T has been a problem for some iPhone users?"
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at research firm Gartner Inc., said having some Wi-Fi-only models of the iPad is a "clever move" on Apple's part, because some people will be using the devices in their homes or in classrooms or other locations with hot spots. "For some people, 3G is not necessarily what they want," she said in an interview.
After viewing Apple's iPad demonstration, Milanesi said she wanted to see how well video streaming works on a 3G network, since the demo was probably presented over a Wi-Fi connection.
"Definitely, the iPad is best going to be used for multimedia and browsing, so Wi-Fi works fine for that," since Wi-Fi can offer many times the speed of 3G, she said.
Conceivably, AT&T would be able to avoid having to handle an explosion of 3G data use, because iPad owners will have the option of using the carrier's 20,000 U.S. Wi-Fi hot spots instead of its 3G network, she noted. AT&T's 3G users will be able to use those hot spots for free, although about 11,000 hot spots at McDonald's are already free to all users.
Still, it's unclear how well the iPad handles video streaming, because that feature hasn't really been fully tested. The device's capabilities will become clearer after it ships to users who will carry out a wide array of tests for rich apps. If video runs well over 3G, the iPad could well prove to be the "magical and revolutionary device" that Jobs predicted it would be.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, send e-mail to email@example.com or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed .
- Office for iPad apps ring up 27M downloads
- Apple plays hardball with iPad Mini reveal
- Apple breezes to PC sales' top spot as Windows share decays
- Analyst tallies perks of September launch of new iPhone, iPad
- Analyst predicts stellar iPad sales in next week's Apple earnings
- Nexus 7 holds up better than iPad in drop, water-dunk tests
- With iPad Mini, Apple would remain tablet king through '16, says IDC
- Apple demands ipad3.com domain
- Chrome for iOS snatches top spot on App Store
- iPad in the Enterprise: IT Must Stay Ahead of the Curve
Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.
- Confront consumerization with convergence Virtualization expert Elias Khnaser spotlights the security, compliance, and governance issues that arise when enterprise users "consumerize" with shadow IT and public cloud...
- Implementing Energy Efficient Data Centers This paper explains how to quantify the electricity savings and provides examples of methods that can greatly reduce electrical power consumption.
- Virtualization and Cloud Computing: Optimized Power, Cooling, and Management Maximizes Benefits The effects that the cloud and virtualization have on the data center are discussed and possible solutions or methods for dealing with them...
- Comparing Data Center Power Distribution Architectures Significant improvements in have been achieved in data center power distribution, increasing the options available for data centers. This paper compares five power...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!