Small crowd clamors for Wi-Fi-only version of new iPad at Wal-Mart
Experts question how well the pricier LTE version from carriers will do
Computerworld - Will the new iPad with 4G LTE wireless service be as popular as the less expensive version that's Wi-Fi-only?
It's a question on the minds of many analysts. They have often reported that Wi-Fi-only tablets of various brands sell better than their more expensive counterparts that provide cellular wireless as well as Wi-Fi.
Up to now, 3G iPads with slower speeds than LTE have been available. This is the first time the iPad has included the faster LTE service in some models, which adds another $130 to the sale price. With Verizon Wireless and AT&T, that price is $629.99 for the 16GB version, $729.99 for 32GB, and $829.99 for 64GB.
When the new Wi-Fi-only iPad went on sale early Friday at a 24-hour Wal-Mart in the college town of Harrisonburg, Va., all 20 models quickly sold out, store clerks said, and some customers waiting in line had to be turned away. The store was selling only the Wi-Fi-only versions, and more stock was expected to arrive either late Friday or early Saturday, they said.
By contrast, both the nearby AT&T and Verizon stores had no crowds and only one or two customers apiece when they opened at 8 a.m. Friday. The carriers were selling only LTE plus Wi-Fi versions of the new iPad.
At the Verizon location, one sales clerk noted that customers don't need a contract to buy a new LTE-ready iPad and that the various tiers of data service are paid for as needed with a credit card. The plans include 2GB for $30 and 10GB for $80 a month.
Verizon earlier this week said customers had been "enthusiastic" to buy the iPad on Verizon's 3G network, and the carrier expected "even more excitement" for the new iPad with Wi-Fi plus 4G.
Verizon on Thursday said 200 cities had LTE service on its networks. AT&T said it has reached nearly 30 cities with LTE, although it also has fast service on its HSPA+ networks and 3G that customers can revert back to.
Verizon emphasized that LTE can be valuable for workers and students for fast downloads, but analysts warned that data costs can quickly mount up if users aren't careful.
Downloading a full-length HD movie, for example, which can total more than 3.7GB, over a cellular network would cost a Verizon customer as much as $50: $30 for the one-month 2GB tier service and $10 for each subsequent 1GB overage charge. Such costs are why many experts recommend using Wi-Fi to download large files.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
- iOS 8 split-screen hints at iPad's enterprise ambition
- Office for iPad apps ring up 27M downloads
- Apple reclaims J.D. Power's top tablet satisfaction prize
- Samsung tablets grab market share from Apple's iPad
- As iPad sales slump, Cook hijacks analysts' fast-uptake explanation
- The iPad's expected ebb, and the search for why
- iPad sales skew even more toward Mini
- Apple's Mac ends up in tablet cannibal pot, too
- The case for an iPad Pro
- Is Apple's 13-in. iPad a desktop for kids?
Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.
- 5 Customers Deliver Virtual Desktops and Apps to Empower a Modern Workforce Learn how Citrix solutions helped 5 companies realize the full value of desktop virtualization through a project-by-project approach based on key business priorities.
- Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization Regain control and reduce risk without sacrificing business productivity and growth
- IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Client Virtualization Software 2013 Vendor Assessment IDC has placed Citrix in the 2013 IDC MarketScape Leaders Category once again noting that, "Citrix's position reflects the company's market leadership and...
- Infographic: Top Use Cases for Desktop Virtualization A wide range of business issues is driving IT toward desktop virtualization. One solution-Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast technology-helps IT teams empower their entire...
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts