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AT&T to be first U.S. carrier to subsidize Apple's iPad

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
For the first time since the original iPad was released in 2010, a U.S. wireless carrier will subsidize the price of Apple's iPad with a signed two-year agreement, bringing the tablet's sales structure more in line with the iPhone.

iPad Subsidy
Third-generation iPad with $100 promotional discount. | Source: AT&T


AT&T announced on Friday that it will be offering what it calls a "promotional discount" of $100 to customers buying a new tablet, including the new LTE-enabled iPad, attached to a two-year service agreement.

Starting today, customers in the market for a new tablet can take advantage of the subsidy as long as they sign on to a qualifying data plan, which can range from $10 per month to $50 per month. The iPad can also be added to one of the telecom's Mobile Share plans, in which a number of devices share data from a single quota, with plans ranging from 1GB to 20GB per month.

The full range of tablet data plan options include:

  • AT&T Mobile Share: $10 to share between 1 GB and 20GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 250MB: $15 for 250MB
  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

Unfortunately, legacy unlimited data users are unable to take advantage of the deal.

According to AT&T Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher, the promotion was created to incentivize holiday shopping, however it can be assumed that the launch of Apple's LTE-connected fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini also played a role in the new pricing.

The second-largest U.S. wireless provider has not set an end date for the promotion, and said it will be available as long as supplies last. No indication was given as to how many units of each tablet are being stocked, but interested customers must visit AT&T's online store or a brick-and-mortar outlet to claim the discount.
post #2 of 47
What largesse! Thanks but no thanks.
post #3 of 47

Only $100?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #4 of 47
A $100 is a $100 and if you intend to use AT&Ts service anyways it might be a good deal. The qualifier is this; is the device unlocked? If not then no deal.
post #5 of 47
Weak.

$100 not enough for a 2 year commitment.
post #6 of 47

For that you get a THIRD-generation iPad which is now going for $50 off the retail price normally. 

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post #7 of 47

Ok let's add the clues. 3 million sold in first weekend. And those were just WiFi only. Great reviews even from unlikely sources. Line ups even though you could order on line. ATT is going to subsidize to get in on the action. I do believe this means one thing... Apple is doomed. Apple has another blockbuster winner!

post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

For that you get a THIRD-generation iPad which is now going for $50 off the retail price normally. 

Note the retail price of that 3rd gen iPad is $50 than the cost for the 4th gen 16GB iPad WiFi+Cellular which is $629.

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post #9 of 47
so you are subsidizing $450 for an iPhone, but $100 for an iPad? thats messed up...

 

 


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post #10 of 47
In Australia, Telstra offers an iPad for $48/month with 1GB of data zero dollars up front. $68/month gets you 8GB/month


It works out a bit dearer than outright purchase upfront then paying for a twelve month lump of data prepaid ($629 iPad 4 with cellular plus $180*2 for 24GB data over two years = $989) but if a person had trouble with ponying up the cost of an iPad outright it isn't too bad as total cost over two years is $1152.

edit: my bad, the Ipad with cellular is AUD$679, so the difference between upfront then buying data prepaid ($1039) and the 24 month plan is less.
Edited by Entropys - 11/9/12 at 4:57pm
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post #11 of 47
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post
so you are subsidizing $450 for an iPhone, but $100 for an iPad? thats messed up...


Well, the phone, you're paying for phone and texting, too.

 

Oh, wait, the texting is unlimited now, so the $0.00 it costs them becomes less relevant… 

 

So just the phone, then. You're paying more, so they subsidize more.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropys View Post

In Australia, Telstra offers an iPad for $48/month with 1GB of data zero dollars up front. $68/month gets you 8GB/month
It works out a bit dearer than outright purchase upfront then paying for a twelve month lump of data prepaid ($629 iPad 4 with cellular plus $180*2 for 24GB data over two years = $989) but if a person had trouble with ponying up the cost of an iPad outright it isn't too bad as total cost over two years is $1152.
edit: my bad, the Ipad with cellular is AUD$679, so the difference between upfront then buying data prepaid ($1039) and the 24 month plan is less.

 

In Australia I can get a new 16GB iPad (with cellular) $15 a month for 2GB data a month, zero up front and $26 a month for the iPad over 24 months from Vodafone.

 

$41 a month with 2GB data, $46 with 4GB, $56 with 10GB

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post #13 of 47

They should do that with the mini too.  100$ on the mini would be a greater % rebate.

post #14 of 47


Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The full range of tablet data plan options include:

  • AT&T Mobile Share: $10 to share between 1 GB and 20GB

in addition to the $40 (1Gb) to $200 (20GB) for the mobile share plan. Add to this the price of another phone (or multiple) at $30-$45 each.

post #15 of 47
Thanks ATT, but no thanks. I dumped you and went with Verizon, free tethering which you'll be charging these new suckers for, right?
post #16 of 47

It appears MANY of you are working for big telcos, right? Or, you guys are now having trouble to add, subtract, multiply and divide? Or, many of you are very poor that you can't even buy iPads outright anymore? Are you really addicted to this so called financing? First, it starts with your housing, then your cars, then for taking a second mortgage, then for paying your credit card debts, and then for something that is not so much money to get like electronics and gadgets which actually can be purchased if you are willing to save some money on the side for perhaps one, two months or less. With about one third of US households still under water, I kinda wonder why...

 

Get smart people! For something that is priced under US 1000, you ought to be able to buy it outright. If not? You are not as smart or financially able as you think you are. You would become just easy killings for the big telcos. To get a financing for something inexpensive that is inherently regressing in values is financially irresponsible and utterly stupid because you lose money from the two fronts simultaneously.

post #17 of 47
id rather just buy one and then be able to buy the cellular data when I need it and shut it off when I don't. $100 is really weak for a 2 year commitment.... just shows how spoiled the US carrier are (the few that still remain).
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

so you are subsidizing $450 for an iPhone, but $100 for an iPad? thats messed up...

They have to protect themselves for the shared plan. $10/month is $240 for two years. $100 ain't bad... Actually Better % savings vs iPhone. Att obviously wants even more incentive for people to do the shared plan. If you were planning on adding a tablet for $10/month anyway- now you get $100 for free if you were going to keep it two years anyway. If that's not what you want or you don't want to be locked up for two years.... Then don't do it.


Yesterday- people saved $0. Now they save $100 if they- key word- WANT to. People just love to complain...
Edited by Andysol - 11/9/12 at 6:42pm

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post #19 of 47
So let me get this straight - save $100 now to only pay an extra $240 minimum over 2 years for a total minimum price of $719
This is horrible. AT&T is hurting.
The worst part is people will think this is actually a good deal.
Edited by iceweasel - 11/9/12 at 7:29pm
post #20 of 47

What you fail to realize is that your not saving $100 by buying a subsidized iPad, your spending more money. Look at the math. Don't fool yourself into believing that because it's $100 less now that your saving $100. Look at the long term price you end up paying. Gesh....now I know how rent-A-centers make money - off the backs of the poor and destitute. You end up paying $3000 for a TV that's only worth $900.

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceweasel View Post

What you fail to realize is that your not saving $100 by buying a subsidized iPad, your spending more money. Look at the math. Don't fool yourself into believing that because it's $100 less now that your saving $100. Look at the long term price you end up paying. Gesh....now I know how rent-A-centers make money - off the backs of the poor and destitute. You end up paying $3000 for a TV that's only worth $900.

Yes, lets look at the math. Lets say you want to by an iPad with cellular connectivity and will keep it connected to the carrier for 2 years or more. Then why wouldn't you take the deal and save $100?

I could have bought a non-subsidized iPhone and paid month to month for service but I know I will keep it connected every month so it's not cost effective for me to lose that subsidization savings as US carriers don't offer you savings on your plan if you bring your own device.

This has absolutely no barring on whether this option works for your needs or the needs of the masses but wizard69's comment is sound because the math is sound.

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post #22 of 47
The rebate doesn't even cover the cost of the cellular radio feature. Sure, people are free to do what they want but this offer is even more stupid than their phone contract pricing. People who have a phone contract - with any carrier - shouldn't criticize this as fiscally irresponsible ... because so is your phone contract when you get your "subsidized" phone.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

The rebate doesn't even cover the cost of the cellular radio feature. Sure, people are free to do what they want but this offer is even more stupid than their phone contract pricing. People who have a phone contract - with any carrier - shouldn't criticize this as fiscally irresponsible ... because so is your phone contract when you get your "subsidized" phone.

Now it's fiscally irresponsible to have a subsidized device over paying full price for an item and still having the same exact bill? The argument that you can cancel at any time is foolish if you have no intention of canceling. I was with AT&T for 5.25 years but you think it would have been more fiscally responsible if I had never had a subsidized phone?

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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireside View Post

It appears MANY of you are working for big telcos, right? Or, you guys are now having trouble to add, subtract, multiply and divide? Or, many of you are very poor that you can't even buy iPads outright anymore? Are you really addicted to this so called financing? First, it starts with your housing, then your cars, then for taking a second mortgage, then for paying your credit card debts, and then for something that is not so much money to get like electronics and gadgets which actually can be purchased if you are willing to save some money on the side for perhaps one, two months or less. With about one third of US households still under water, I kinda wonder why...

 

Get smart people! For something that is priced under US 1000, you ought to be able to buy it outright. If not? You are not as smart or financially able as you think you are. You would become just easy killings for the big telcos. To get a financing for something inexpensive that is inherently regressing in values is financially irresponsible and utterly stupid because you lose money from the two fronts simultaneously.

Unfortunately you don't get the plan any cheaper without the tablet/modem/phone, well not in Australia anyway, as a matter of fact month to month plans often give you less for the same money and then you are out for the upfront device cost.

 

I would like to pay an oil company a monthly fee to use a fixed amount of their petrol/gas for two years in exchange for a car to use it in.

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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Yes, lets look at the math. ....[snip] but wizard69's comment is sound because the math is sound.

 

 

I have frequented some abstract math courses during my days, but, kudos to your telepathic[?] understanding of this abstract "math". As I have yet to experience the "math" this incredibly abstract before, wizard69 is indeed a wizard or must've been a wizard that even someone like SolipsismX can understand the "math" so obfuscated and abstract that wizard69 doesn't even have to expose it to impart its "math", umph.., "calculation". 

 

The only thing I see from this form of "lazy" financing is the big telcos laughing all the way to the bank for lazy people who are too lazy to think. It will cater the same people who love the drive thru for banking, fast food and other stuff just because it is so convenient. You don't have to think about it. It's a no brainer. That's it: a NO BRAINER.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A $100 is a $100 and if you intend to use AT&Ts service anyways it might be a good deal. The qualifier is this; is the device unlocked? If not then no deal.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I was with AT&T for 5.25 years but you think it would have been more fiscally responsible if I had never had a subsidized phone?

I don't think that can be said in general. I know some people never use SMS, never call. The only thing they use is What's App, Facebook and email in order to stay in touch. And they usually do that at home, and out and about, but where there's WiFi. Some folks use a € 10 prepaid SIM for 3 months (!) for that little data access and therefore are far better off with a full paid phone even though they don't switch carriers.
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post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A $100 is a $100 and if you intend to use AT&Ts service anyways it might be a good deal. The qualifier is this; is the device unlocked? If not then no deal.

$100 is not $100.

The qualifier is not if the device is locked vs. unlocked.

 

Lets walk through this:

1. Firstly your buying into old tech (iPad 3) for $479.99 after instant savings of $100. 

2. Assume that you have an AT&T's new "share plan"

3. Baseline price will be $719, an additional $240 over the course of 2 years if you don't go over the 250 MB monthly data usage.

 

Here is where things get interesting. 

If you don't have a new "share plan" or aren't an AT&T customer, to take advantage of the $100 subsidized discount, you will need to add a qualified mobile plan which starts at $15/month for 350 MB, add $10/month for device share.  This adds an additional $360 to the $719 which brings your grand total to $1079 to use an iPad 4th generation with 250 MB each month for 2 years.

 

I would be negligent if I didn't say that a 250 MB plan is meant for very light email usage and minimal browsing (very light). Any streaming apps, an afternoon of browsing, downloading magazines will easily put you over and incur overages.

Most people will tend to use the 3 GB plan which is $30/month which adds an additional $720 to the $719 price of device and 2 year device share @ $10/month - putting the grand total at $1,439.99 (taxes, fees not included).

 

Even if you plan on using the device with constant LTE service you will not recoup the value of the initial $100 discount.

Here's why. Your locked into a mobile share plan for 2 years! That is the real qualifier. AT&T has designed their plans and the discount to look attractive initially to those who can't afford to spend the initial $$ and obtain the service they desire.

 

I don't know the price of the iPad 3, but i'm sure the pricing structure will be similar to the iPad 2 a-la iPad 3. Therefore lets assume the standard $100 off the price of the iPad 4 (the same discount last year). Therefore for an iPad 3 16GB + 4G will be $529. If you were to just buy the device for $529, and add a month to month service for the iPad for $30/month ($720 for 2 years) + $529 for an iPad 3 brings the total to $1,249.

 

Compare buying the iPad outright $1,249 vs. subsidized with the same service $1,439 and you will see $100 does not equal $100. I'm not even going to talk about ROI, depreciation - you will have to do your own cost/benefit analysis for a more in-depth look at acquiring this device.

 

Seriously though, there is a rule of thumb that my fiance told me when she did her MBA, "...companies sole purpose is to increase revenue. Any offering they provide only seeks to bolster this purpose."  It's up to you as the customer to seek the most value for your dollar. Companies will not do it for you. Does help to have a little common sense though.

 

 

Edit:

After some thought, I realized this offering by AT&T is very weak and is borderline desperate. Exploiting those who are either less knowledgable or less financially capable of buying the device in full and adding service.

 

Edit 2: 250 MB and 


Edited by iceweasel - 11/10/12 at 11:42am
post #28 of 47
Would've been better marketing and make subsidy more readily understood IF they would've announced you could buy the iPad from them and get FREE (subsidized) upgrade to LTE/4G version ($129 value)!

Just like Apple could've sold iPad mini for $299. And then next year sell the original mini at $249 and the mini w/retina display for $349.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

so you are subsidizing $450 for an iPhone, but $100 for an iPad? thats messed up...

Plans start at $10/month. How much would you really expect them to subsidize? I really don't like the subsidy model. I'd prefer lower monthly rates.

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceweasel View Post

Lets walk through this:

1. Firstly your buying into old tech (iPad 3) for $479.99 after instant savings of $100. 

2. Assume that you have an AT&T's new "share plan"

3. Baseline price will be $719, an additional $240 over the course of 2 years if you don't go over the 350 MB monthly data usage.

1 - It's the new iPad (4) (actually, it's any tablet they sell).

2 - Okay, you have the new "share plan".

3 - Baseline price will be $479 & simply add $10 a month.

Since you have the shared plan, the amount of data is the size share plan you have (1, 4, 6, 10, 15, 20GB). 

 

If you have shared data, you don't pay $15 a month for 250MB (and it's not 350MB as you stated 4 times).

post #31 of 47

I would sign up with a two year data plan that can carry over month over month without hesitation. 

post #32 of 47
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
Plans start at $10/month. How much would you really expect them to subsidize? I really don't like the subsidy model. I'd prefer lower monthly rates.

 

I'd prefer that or the same prices and unlimited like it should be.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #33 of 47
What if the promotion was- pay 14 months @ $10/month on your shared plan- and get 10 months for free.

You guys and your fuzzy math. If you aren't an att customer, then this isn't a good deal- duh. If you are an att customer under their shared plan and you were planning on adding a cellular iPad- it's a no brainer. $100 free.

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post #34 of 47
The problem with all this is that the average person doesn't know how much data it takes to download email, download a book, etc. Secondly, if you have to pay more every time you add a device (shared data plan aside for the moment), people will resist adding devices.

If you're primarily using a Pad as an e-book reader, then WiFi alone is probably enough. But if you're using it for email, web surfing and any kind of texting/social media, then you need a carrier. But the costs are starting to get ridiculous.

Hopefully, if a lot of people go without any plan and simply use WiFi, they'll be pressure on the carriers to come up with better plans, like being able to add an additional device to an unlimited data plan for another $5 to $10 a month at most. But lately they've been going to in the opposite direction. I think the $1000 a year I already pay for my phone plan, plus the $1300 a year I pay to my ISP (including cable TV) is already far too much, even acknowledging that capital investments the carriers much make.
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Now it's fiscally irresponsible to have a subsidized device over paying full price for an item and still having the same exact bill? The argument that you can cancel at any time is foolish if you have no intention of canceling. I was with AT&T for 5.25 years but you think it would have been more fiscally responsible if I had never had a subsidized phone?

 

If you were with AT&T for 5 1/4 years, you absolutely paid more money for the phone and services you got than you could have bought elsewhere - even if you were on the cheapest plan AT&T offers. Even the word "subsidy" is improperly used with what the telcos offer. What they actually offer is for you to finance your device purchase cost. They just happen to hide all of the financials inside their monthly fees over the contract term. It's not hard to do the math equation. I'll even grant you that the phone itself provides no resale value at the end of the term (although an unlocked iPhone has shown itself to hold it's value pretty well). 

 

Now, I will grant you that in the iPad "subsidy" example that if you actually pay the monthly 3G / LTE service for that whole 2 years outside of this AT&T offer then you save a little bit of money. But that's a very specific use case that probably doesn't apply to everyone. In fact, there's absolutely no reason with AT&T's data plan offerings for the iPad to renew the term until you absolutely start using it again. So even if you have a 5-10 day gap between renewals, that easily covers the "subsidy" AT&T is giving to you because you can ultimately have cellular data for a longer total period of time than 24 months.

 

It's your money, but you can't make a mathematical claim that is easily disproven.

post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'd prefer that or the same prices and unlimited like it should be.

I could see that too. I don't know what their strategy is here. It's not like they can subsidize it hundreds of dollars on a $240 commitment.

post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

If you were with AT&T for 5 1/4 years, you absolutely paid more money for the phone and services you got than you could have bought elsewhere - even if you were on the cheapest plan AT&T offers. Even the word "subsidy" is improperly used with what the telcos offer. What they actually offer is for you to finance your device purchase cost. They just happen to hide all of the financials inside their monthly fees over the contract term. It's not hard to do the math equation. I'll even grant you that the phone itself provides no resale value at the end of the term (although an unlocked iPhone has shown itself to hold it's value pretty well). 

Now, I will grant you that in the iPad "subsidy" example that if you actually pay the monthly 3G / LTE service for that whole 2 years outside of this AT&T offer then you save a little bit of money. But that's a very specific use case that probably doesn't apply to everyone. In fact, there's absolutely no reason with AT&T's data plan offerings for the iPad to renew the term until you absolutely start using it again. So even if you have a 5-10 day gap between renewals, that easily covers the "subsidy" AT&T is giving to you because you can ultimately have cellular data for a longer total period of time than 24 months.

It's your money, but you can't make a mathematical claim that is easily disproven.

Prove it.

Scenario: I have bought an AT&T-compatible
iPhone outright at the full retail price. I need a voice and data plan of at 150 minutes and 2GB per month, respectively. Now which AT&T plan would have saved me wads of cash per year?

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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I don't think that can be said in general. I know some people never use SMS, never call. The only thing they use is What's App, Facebook and email in order to stay in touch. And they usually do that at home, and out and about, but where there's WiFi. Some folks use a € 10 prepaid SIM for 3 months (!) for that little data access and therefore are far better off with a full paid phone even though they don't switch carriers.

That would be great for those that don't want to make calls if that we're an option (I think TS would love that) but I don't think AT&T will allow a data-only plan on any smartphone.

Even if they did offer that (which you could at least do which you could technically do with MiFi) if you want/need voice and you want/need a certain type of plan because you are a certain type of user then it's axiomatically incorrect to state that any subsidy will cost you more if without the subsidy you plan would still be the same per month.

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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

1 - It's the new iPad (4) (actually, it's any tablet they sell).

2 - Okay, you have the new "share plan".

3 - Baseline price will be $479 & simply add $10 a month.

Since you have the shared plan, the amount of data is the size share plan you have (1, 4, 6, 10, 15, 20GB). 

 

If you have shared data, you don't pay $15 a month for 250MB (and it's not 350MB as you stated 4 times).

1. I don't believe it's the iPad 4. Apple sells the iPad 4 16GB + LTE for $629, there is no way that AT&T is going to undercut Apple by $50, then provide an additional $100 savings for signing a 2 year contract. This is the iPad 3 pricing.

2. If you don't have the new "share plan" you will have to add it, at a cost of $15 / month

3. Price of the iPad 3 ($479) + Device Share $10/month + Data Plan $15/month = $360+$240+$479 = $1079 over the two year contract period. As I stated before.

post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

What if the promotion was- pay 14 months @ $10/month on your shared plan- and get 10 months for free.
You guys and your fuzzy math. If you aren't an att customer, then this isn't a good deal- duh. If you are an att customer under their shared plan and you were planning on adding a cellular iPad- it's a no brainer. $100 free.

Even if you are an AT&T customer it's cheaper to buy the iPad outright, add a month-to-month data plan than it is to use this subsidized model. You save $200+ over the same 2 year period using any plan. And you have the luxury of saving more. There maybe some months where you may not need to have LTE and can choose to shut it off. 

If your on contract you don't have the luxury to shut off service.

 

Come on people. Think. 

 

Edited:

To clarify this is only for those who are not on the new "Shared Data Plans" that AT&T are offering. If you already are on a shared data plan, it is cheaper to take advantage of this subsidized pricing as you will only be paying an additional $10/month to access the same pool of data. 

 

However if you are not, changing to the new shared data plan may result in an increase in your bill. I'm not going to go through the math - it's been prove on Macrumors, Gizmodo, and TUAW - just google it and you will see for yourself. After adding 3 or more devices savings can be appreciated. But initially, there is a price increase.

 

Edited:

Removed potentially offensive remark. Apologies.


Edited by iceweasel - 11/11/12 at 9:20am
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