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T-Mobile to offer Apple's new iPad with free 200 MB/month data plan

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
After Apple unveiled the new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, T-Mobile announced it will be offering the tablets to new customers with a free 200MB per month data allotment, a $15 savings from the carrier's closest competitor.

T-Mobile iPad


When the new iPads launch in November, T-Mobile will be the only big-four U.S. cellular providers to offer a data plan for free. After the 200MB cap is reached, the next tier starts at 2.5GB per month for $30.

The Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air and second-generation iPad mini will be the first Apple tablets to be sold through T-Mobile. Previously, users had to implement a workaround by using a T-Mobile SIM card in an unlocked iPad, as the carrier did not yet have access to the device.

Earlier in the day, chief executive John Legere tweeted out a message hinting that he had something up his sleeve regarding Apple's new LTE-capable iPads.

October 22, 2013


T-Mobile's latest "uncarrier" move to disrupt the cellular market comes after the telecom announced a new international coverage feature that allows for free global data roaming and texts. That plan will go into effect at the end of October.
post #2 of 25

For how long, just the first month?

post #3 of 25

Yeah, and hopefully it's not free 2G EDGE service.

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post #4 of 25

If somebody is first going to spend $130 more for an LTE iPad, wouldn't they want to get more use out of it than a lousy 200 MB per month? That'll last how long? 15 minutes?

 

I guess that I just don't see the point in this 200 MB for free.

 

Even when your iPad is just sitting around, doing nothing, there's always traffic happening, like email notifications coming in etc..

post #5 of 25
It's good for pr, but how does the math work? So I use 200 mb, then I have to pay $30 for an additional 2.5 gb or is it really 2.3? AT&T still seems to have the best deal 3 gb for $30 I'm sure for normal use without Video streaming should last a month . For me I always get wifi cause I already pay for my unlimited data on my phone and don't want to double pay to use my iPad. Every hotel has wifi now and such so don't see a need for cellular but that's just me .
post #6 of 25

I like that T-Mobile is trying to upset the apple cart with offers that the others aren't offering but this seems a bit lame.

 

I understand the desire to have access to the internet when there is no wifi. But I carry an iPhone and that does fine in a pinch. Not perfect but, better than giving a telco another $15-$30/mo.

 

Chris Breen, of MacWorld, said he bought an iPad 2/3G and used the 3G twice in a year.

 

I'll just stick with the wifi version and save my $130.

post #7 of 25

I really like this and it certainly makes me lean towards getting a T-mobile iPad Mini (was planning on getting an AT&T before). I like the idea of always being connected on the go, when I'm working or at home I always have wifi for more data-driven tasks so it would be nice to save a buck. I wish there was a little cheaper and smaller tier between the $30 2.5gb and the free 200mb, though.

post #8 of 25
ATT's 250MB for $15 truly gouges. I don't need more than that most months, since I am almost always on wifi. Often my cellular use of iPad is no more than for checking email or doing a quick search. I turn off location services, Bluetooth and auto updates before using cellular.

I might sign on on to T-Mobile just to see their network works. Moreover, if enough people like me switching helps to discipline the major carriers even just a little bit, it'll be worth it, IMHO.

Add: Unless of course, the darn thing is 'tethered' to T-Mobile and there's no way to use an ATT SIM card on it. Anyone know?
Edited by anantksundaram - 10/22/13 at 8:07pm
post #9 of 25

I'll be interested in seeing how this shakes out in the real world.  Do you only get the first 200 MB a month if you're already signed up to be billed at the 201st MB?

 

What speeds can those people who are not in one of their LTE markets expect?  Edge?

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    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

If somebody is first going to spend $130 more for an LTE iPad, wouldn't they want to get more use out of it than a lousy 200 MB per month? That'll last how long? 15 minutes?

 

I guess that I just don't see the point in this 200 MB for free.

 

Even when your iPad is just sitting around, doing nothing, there's always traffic happening, like email notifications coming in etc..

 

 

I think the deal is great. First, if you are already a T-Mobile customer, the plan is meaningless for most people. This is because T-Mobile includes tethering with most of its plans. So, if I have one of the most common T-Mobile cellular plans, I can use my cellphone's data plan for my iPad. Second, when I am at home, work, or a coffee shop I am on wi-fi. In other words, most of the time. Consequently, even though I have an unlimited data plan with T-Mobile, I rarely crack 200 Mbs. Granted, I merely use it to surf the web, and check email. 

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post
 

I'll be interested in seeing how this shakes out in the real world.  Do you only get the first 200 MB a month if you're already signed up to be billed at the 201st MB?

 

What speeds can those people who are not in one of their LTE markets expect?  Edge?

 

T-Mobile has a pretty robust 4G network as well. Recently, a study tested the big fours data networks across the US. The results varied by city, but on average T-Mobile came in slightly behind AT&T in terms of data speeds. Verizon was a close third, and Sprint a distance fourth. 

post #12 of 25
200MB? yay.

or, not.

that's about what, photostream activity for fewer than 100 images? ish.

i'm hazarding a guess here but photostreams and shared photostreams must really be increasing data traffic for the carriers.

how many pictures do you take a day and to how many devices are they mirrored and how much of a bite out of your [shared] data plan is that?
post #13 of 25

For me, this is great news along with the new iPads being multi-carrier.  I don't use cell data much on my iPads except for when I travel.  200MB is a good amount for email and casual web browsing.  It's enough to get you by in between WiFi hotspots.  This could work out quite well for them as I may try T-Mobile for free and keep it if it works well.

 

The free international roaming is also a killer deal... if it works well.

post #14 of 25
Looking at those prices, you Americans get ripped off!
We can get 10gig for about $20, 15gig for about $30.
post #15 of 25
This would be really great if the radio didn't get the premium treatment from Apple. If you suspect you're going to use an ipad for at least a year (minimum, for the vast majority) and you weren't intending on getting a data plan, you spread the 130 over 12 months and you're looking at 10.83 to occasionally use wireless in moderation. Considering the same model would have the cheapest plan at over 40 bucks/mnth (with cost of radio incl.) it's an interesting proposal for those of us that have a computer and cellphone with us all the time. Would I OCCASIONALLY like to use an ipad where I can't use a laptop? Yes. Am I willing to pay for two data plans (phone which is a must + ipad) for that occasional use? Not really. I barely hit 2GB on my unlimited phone data.

Not hugely compelling because of the price of the radio, but if you're right on the fault line between getting a 4g ipad or going strictly wireless it gives you another avenue to test it out, albeit for about a 3rd of the cost of the cheapest rMini.
post #16 of 25
T-Mobile has done an incredible job with the MetroPCS merger. Both entities have benefitted, which is the exact opposite of what happened to Sprint when they made the fatal mistake to acquire Nextel -- total waste of money, energy and resources. Within just a few months T-Mo was able to leverage the Metro spectrum and articulate a convincing marketing and branding strategy with all its brands. I wonder if they're geniuses or if it's just that other carriers are run by greedy morons.
post #17 of 25
I think that this plan means the new iPad is not selling well:) that's the story I am waiting for.
post #18 of 25

I use iPads for the GPS when I travel so this will be good.  I have ATT on my 5s and Verizon on my iPad 3 so a free T-Moble mini would cover me nicely.

post #19 of 25

I'd find this useful... I have an unlimited data plan on my iPhone 5 with work that I'd tether to my iPad for serious on-the-go data usage.

 

However the 200mb of data for basic quick email would be great.

 

QUESTION: If I get an iPad Air with T-mobile, can I later drop in a Verizon card and use it on their network as well? Is there any physical difference among the iPads sold setup for ATT/Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile?

 

Appreciate anyone's help.... I'd like the T-mobile free data but don't want to be locked in if I want to switched to a full paid plan in which case I'd want to go to VZW or ATT

post #20 of 25

As someone already asked, what happens when you go over your 200MB?

Does this last for as long as you own the device?

 

I might do this if the answers to these questions are satisfactory.

post #21 of 25
Only the cellular model has an actual GPS chip.
I find the cellular data is most useful when I go on a trip/vacation.
It is wonderful not having to hunt for WiFi.
I also find that when I'm traveling I run down the battery on my iPhone faster than usual so having my iPad online keeps my iPhone juiced up for when I really need it.

Even if you use it only 2-3 months a year, you will be so happy you have that feature.
post #22 of 25

4 options on ATT (I use ATT so my point of reference):

 

  1. Pay $129 additional for the device and pay for whatever data plan you want.
  2. Pay $129 additional for the device and add for $10/month to your shared data plan.
  3. Pay $129 less for the device, upgrade your phone data plan to included tethering, and tether to your phone when needed.
  4. Pay $129 less for the device and tether to your phone when needed on your data share plan.

 

I would pick #4 and save a boatload of money over time.

post #23 of 25
BUYERS BEWARE!
. Verizon will f you up if you don't keep your plan running indefinitely. They will burn out your SIM card and force you to get another with a plan if you want to cancel it. I don;t know how Apple can allow Verizon to cripple your iPad after paying $130 more premium. This happened to me this week on my iPad 3. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3944328?start=120&tstart=0

I am now stuck with a WIFI only iPad unless I take it into Verizon- even though I bought it at Apple???????
Edited by pazuzu - 10/23/13 at 2:23pm
 
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post #24 of 25

so are the iPad Airs locked to a specific carrier? Or could I, for example, purchase it with a T-Mobile SIM, then later switch it out to an ATT/Verizon SIM?

post #25 of 25

That's a pretty good deal, and a good incentive for users to fork over the extra $130 for the cellular-enabled iPad models.  For most users, I can see 200 MB working fine with some common sense data budgeting (i.e., no audio and video streaming, load up the GPS routes ahead of time and don't use satellite images, turn off background refresh, etc.).  Considering that most iPads sold are the wifi-only models, most users already get by without mobile data for their tablets. 

 

For T-Mobile, the freebie is a nice way of getting some of their customers hooked on mobile data.  I would assume that once a customer goes through their 200 MB allotment, they have the option of waiting until the next 30-day cycle or adding the $30/month 2.5 GB prepaid plan.  It seems that T-Mobile thinks that enough consumers will take the upsell to make this freebie pay for itself, although the lack of any lower priced data options would probably reduce the number of takers. 

 

That said, I think the market for these tablet data plans is changing rapidly, with demand probably ready to decline.  As others have mentioned, T-Mobile now includes tethering with all of its postpaid plans, and the both Verizon and AT&T are moving their customers into shared mobile plans that can include tablet devices. 

 

When Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010, he also introduced the prepaid contract-free $15/month data-only plan ($30/month unlimited data) as a game changer.  Considering that the standalone mobile data options that existed at that time consisted of USB dongles and mi-fi devices with service rates of $50+/month and contract requirements, it was a major sea change. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

If somebody is first going to spend $130 more for an LTE iPad, wouldn't they want to get more use out of it than a lousy 200 MB per month? That'll last how long? 15 minutes?

 

I guess that I just don't see the point in this 200 MB for free.

 

Even when your iPad is just sitting around, doing nothing, there's always traffic happening, like email notifications coming in etc..


Well, when we bought our iPad 3, I decided on the cellular version basically to try out the mobile data.  Even if we decided not to keep the data plan, the iPad would still come with the GPS transponder that the wifi-only models do not include. 

 

Keep in mind that everyone in our family at that time used prepaid feature phones, so the iPad data was our only mobile data plan.  In the year and a half that we've had the iPad, we've only exceeded the 250 MB data allotment on the $15/month AT&T plan once.  In the case of AT&T, if you exceed the mobile data allotment, you have a choice of either upgrading to a higher data plan or resetting the 30-day cycle for the $15 plan to today. 

 

Even though we use the iPad for hours on end everyday, I found that the vast majority of usage is in areas where wifi is available.  The only time that we really use the mobile data for the iPad is in the car, and we primarily bring the iPad with us only on long trips.  We only use the mobile data on those occasions where we need the GPS for directions or want to web browse on long road trips.  As long as nobody's doing audio or video streaming, the 250 MB allotment can be quite workable for most usage. 

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