Verizon sees Wi-Fi-only iPad as opportunity to sell 3G data plans

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Though the iPad is only compatible with AT&T's 3G network in the U.S., that hasn't stopped Verizon from telling its employees to pitch its own data plans, shared via Wi-Fi, to prospective buyers of Apple's new hardware.



Calling the nation's largest wireless provider an "eternal optimist," Engadget obtained a copy of an internal memo from Verizon, which calls the impending launch of the iPad an "opportunity" for the carrier to court new customers. Verizon salespeople could convince customers to buy a Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad and connect it to the Verizon 3G network with a device like the MiFi.



The company memo notes that the 3G-compatible iPad costs an extra $130, and claims the device will not be directly sold by AT&T. Since sales, customer service and billing will all be through Apple, Verizon believes it could convince some customers to use its data plans instead.



"Why pay more for the 3G version & get 3G service on an overloaded network with limited coverage?" the memo reads.



But a Verizon customer using the MiFi device to tether to its 3G network would pay about $60 per month for a 5GB data-only plan, a rate much higher than the $29.99 unlimited offered without contract by AT&T. And at Verizon's price, a data-only plan would exceed the $130 premium for 3G connectivity in just a matter of months.



Prior to the iPad's unveiling, rumors persisted for months that Verizon was a potential partner for data on the device. However, it is rumored that AT&T outbid Verizon by offering cheaper data plans without contract. AT&T's iPad plans will also offer free access to AT&T's nationwide hotspots.







As a contract-free purchase, users can buy a 3G-enabled version of the iPad starting at $629. The AT&T network access can be purchased -- or canceled -- at any time directly from the iPad. Though the device ships unlocked, due to hardware limitations it will only have access to AT&T's 3G data network in the U.S.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    mike3kmike3k Posts: 3member
    I'd love to buy a MiFi if it was available contract-free. I'm planning to buy the WiFi only iPad, but I'd love to have something like the MiFi with it, although I won't buy a MiFi if it requires a contract.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    T



    Calling the nation's largest wireless provider an "eternal optimist,"





    It warms the cockles of my black little heart to see such corporate desperation!
  • Reply 3 of 55
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Except for benefit of using the MiFi as a hub for 5 devices and the potential for get '3G' speeds in more areas than AT&T, the 5GB hardcap for 2x the cost of the AT&T unlimited data and slower '3G' speeds aren't much of a selling point. Good luck with that Verizon.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Though the device ships unlocked, due to hardware limitations it will only have access to AT&T's 3G data network in the U.S.



    is this because of the micro-sim thingy? or something else?
  • Reply 5 of 55
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,073member
    The fact that Verizon won't match AT&T's $30 for unlimited data price point shows they suck as badly as AT&T.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    mifi is $60 a month.....thieves!



    This is an opportunity for them?!?! They are a joke.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


    is this because of the micro-sim thingy? or something else?



    The microSIM simply removes more of the plastic, but you can cut down a regular SIM card if needed. The reason the iPad only works with AT&T in the US is because it's GSM-based, but does not contain the wonky spectrum used for T-Mobile USA's '3G'. That means it will work on T-Mobile USA, but only at '2G' (GPRS/EDGE) speeds.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    The fact that Verizon won't match AT&T's $30 for unlimited data price point shows they suck as badly as AT&T.



    Verizon is matching AT&T here. If you look at AT&T for 3G USB cards which can be used across PCs, you'll see they charge $60/month for 5GB. Only the iPad on AT&T gets the special deal since the network connection can't be shared freely, thus there is little chance for the user abusing the connection.
  • Reply 8 of 55
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike3k View Post


    I'd love to buy a MiFi if it was available contract-free. I'm planning to buy the WiFi only iPad, but I'd love to have something like the MiFi with it, although I won't buy a MiFi if it requires a contract.



    soon mighty MIFI will roam this free land

    nano phones will cruise the great wireless freeway
  • Reply 9 of 55
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    mifi is $60 a month.....thieves!



    This is an opportunity for them?!?! They are a joke.



    you can connect and hulu level stream at least 5 devices

    ANY DEVICES

    a 50 ft or larger circle of WIFI ness surrounds you and your loved ones





    by 2012 mifi on 4g/7g network;s will give us up to 50 mbp's . power





    9
  • Reply 10 of 55
    As someone who has both an iPhone 3G and a Verizon Mifi, I can tell you about my experiences. Ever since AT&T rolled out 850mhz 3G upgrades in the DC area, their network has been pretty strong and reliable.



    The advantage to Verizon is that it has a larger network that has been more reliable in recent years. But in the Baltimore-DC area, I get better service on my iPhone than I do through my Mifi. I use my Mifi daily, but I'm not sure if it is worth $60. The speed is usually pretty slow, and I don't see how I could use 5 gigs of it. I have Fios at home, so I'm used to fast Internet speeds.



    I'm debating about whether to keep my Mifi and get a wifi iPad or to break my Verizon contract (and incur the $175 early termination fee) and get the 3G iPad. With AT&T rolling out 7.2 mbps upgrades on their 3G network, a 3G iPad should continue to get faster, while using a Mifi will seem more dated in the coming years.



    The Mifi, however, does have a few advantages. It works very easily with any wifi device. It also has its own battery, which means that it won't drain the iPad like 3G will. It also has a removable battery, which could come in handy when traveling.



    I'm still debating which route to go, as you can see.
  • Reply 11 of 55
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,647member
    So, what's happened to all those incessant "Apple's coming to Verizon" rumors that we never seemed to get enough of, up until a couple of months ago?



    The company reeks of desperation, stuck in its lonely, incompatible technology. It now seems amply evident that, in their cheap quest to win some brownie points with tech-geeks, they really ticked off Apple with their Droid-does, beauty-queen, red v. blue, etc assaults.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    you can connect and hulu level stream at least 5 devices

    ANY DEVICES

    a 50 ft or larger circle of WIFI ness surrounds you and your loved ones





    by 2012 mifi on 4g/7g network;s will give us up to 50 mbp's . power





    9



    I'll have to attempt to stream Hulu on my Verizon Mifi. Usually it's pretty slow. Although I mostly use it on moving trains, which could be effecting its performance.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    I like the option to get 3G on a per month basis.



    When traveling some places want to charge $10 a day to use their wifi and it's insecure.



    Here I can fire up a whole month for $30 unlimited, right when I need it too.





    Apple sure is introducing a lot of neat concepts with the iPad, I don't like the inability to control certain privacy issues, web annoyances and have to suffer with Safari.



    Hopefully Firefox and it's plug-ins will be allowed on the device.
  • Reply 14 of 55
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    MiFi and WiFi only iPad only makes sense if you are already stuck on MiFi contract or similar (eg Palm Pre Plus). For new customers who need always on data connection then AT&T and 3G iPad is better option.

    Either way, it is win-win for Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    So, what's happened to all those incessant "Apple's coming to Verizon" rumors that we never seemed to get enough of, up until a couple of months ago?



    They were always living in an effing dreamworld.



    If Apple was truly coming to Verizon, they would have put out a bunch of job requisitions for CDMA engineers. I believe they had a sole listing about 9 months ago; since then, Apple has not actively built a CDMA engineering group.



    Let's face it: until Apple makes what would be a very visible push to hire CDMA engineers, their mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, whatever) isn't going to be on Verizon until 4G is available in major markets. There would still need to be backwards compatibility with 3G CDMA in non-4G markets, so until Apple hires a bunch of CDMA engineers, forget it.



    Apple is not happening on the Verizon network for the next year or two.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    sfoalexsfoalex Posts: 22member
    I have a MiFi as well as an iPhone 3Gs in San Francisco, which is one of the cities known for extremely poor service via AT&T. But as another posted, AT&T latest upgrades have done a very good job. My iPhone is much faster than the MiFi now. I'll be buying the 3G radio in the iPad and dumping my MiFi.



    If Verizon wants to truly compete, offer the same $30 plat AT&T is offering. Which would you pay, $360 a year or $720? The MiFi service alone will end up costing more than the iPad in just 15 months. And that's if you buy the most expensive model offered, which I plan to do.



    I only bought the MiFi because so many people kept claiming Verizon do be such a great network. They're okay, but right now I am getting faster speeds with AT&T, and I can use Voice and Data at the same time. Verizon is truly on crack. AT&T has shown a willingness to improve and keep prices low.
  • Reply 17 of 55
    All these mentions of $14.99/250MB; $29.99/5GB; or $59.99 for MiFi. Can somebody please share with us what the real cost of the service is on your monthly bill after you add all the endless taxes and fees?
  • Reply 18 of 55
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    [CENTER]Sounds Like A Viable Alternative... and you can connect more than just the one device.[/CENTER]
  • Reply 19 of 55
    -ag--ag- Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    So, what's happened to all those incessant "Apple's coming to Verizon" rumors that we never seemed to get enough of, up until a couple of months ago?



    "Technically" its true. APPLE is coming to the Verizon Network. Sad thing being that a LOT of bloggers jumped over themselves to get the exclusive that they didnt actually realise that it could have been another NON iphone product. *read: iPad*



    This is just another reason why i love the blogoshpere and how people will jump up and down about how bad a product is months before anyone has actually even seen it, all to get a few more hits *read:advertising revenue* to their site.
  • Reply 20 of 55
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    At $30/month, month-to-month, maybe. At $60/month tied into a 2-year contract, no way in hell.
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