Verizon Wireless and AT&T to Offer iPad in Stores on October 28th – MiFi Bundle Avialable

Verizon Wireless and AT&T both announced that they will be offering the Apple iPad in their brick and mortar locations beginning October 28th.

Signifying a growing relationship with Apple, Verizon Wireless will begin offering the iPad WiFi models with the MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot. Verizon Wireless’s COO, John Stratton stated, “This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels. iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.”

The three bundled prices are:

  • $630 – iPad WiFi 16GB + MiFi
  • $730 – iPad WiFi 32GB + MiFi
  • $830 – iPad WiFi 64GB + MiFi

In addition to these bundled prices, Verizon Wireless will be offering 1GB of data for $20 a month with no contract. Again, keep in mind that this data is for the MiFi when purchased in a bundle with a iPad WiFi. The data does not go directly to the iPad, as there is not yet a CDMA iPad. Rather, the MiFi creates a mobile WiFi hotspot that the iPad WiFi connects to. The MiFi can connect to up to 5 devices.

The $20 fee for data from Verizon will come with 1GB of data. Each additional GB is another $20. For $35 customers can use up to 3GB of data and each additional gig is only $10. A 5GB package will be $50 and an additional $10 per GB.

Don’t care about having data coverage? Verizon Wireless will also be offering the iPad as a stand-alone product without data fees. Pricing should be the same as what Apple offers.

AT&T is following suite in offering the iPad at their brick and mortar locations. The company will be matching the prices Verizon Wireless is offering, but it will be for the iPad WiFi + 3G models. This eliminates the need for a separate 3G mobile hotspot device, such as the MiFi. The drawback here is that multiple devices can’t be connected to the iPad WiFi + 3G’s wireless service out of the box, where as the MiFi allows users to connect multiple WiFi devices, such as the iPad and iPod Touch. It may be possible that a Jailbroken iPad WiFi + 3G could act as a mobile hotspot, but not all users may want to Jailbreak their device.

AT&T’s offering is not without its advantages, though. Unlike Verizon Wireless who only offers a $20 plan for 1GB of data, AT&T offers $14.99 (250MB of data) and $25 (2GB of data) plans to suit the various data consumption needs of different users. Additionally, AT&T iPad customers gain access to the 23,000+ AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots around the country at no additional cost.

So which carrier should you go with? It all depends on your needs. Many users think Verizon Wireless’s 3G coverage is superior to AT&T’s. However, you may be in a large metropolis where signal strength is almost never an issue. Also, if you are a New York City resident and frequent the subway, you may want to go the AT&T route due to the recent news of AT&T coverage being extended to the subways.

Another thing to consider is, do you want two devices with more functionality, or one device with less? With Verizon Wireless and its MiFi, you can share 3G data with multiple WiFi devices, other than just the iPad, but you must have the MiFi with you to get 3G data. With AT&T, you have one device that has 3G data, but you can’t share it with other devices like an iPod or a notebook. Again, it all depends on your needs.

The iPad offerings from Verizon Wireless and AT&T will commence on October 28th.

Additional reporting by Kevin Purcell

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