Verizon to start selling the iPad. But who isn't?
The headline on a new page at Verizon Wireless's site might suggest a major thaw in the Apple-Verizon relationship:
iPad. Coming October 28.
But please read past the lead of Verizon's marketing -- which one reader said included a recorded mention of the news that played when he called the service to pay his bill. The iPad isn't "coming to Verizon" in the sense of running on Verizon's network. Instead, the company will sell the WiFi version of the iPad bundled with its MiFi mobile-broadband hotspot.
Verizon gives that WiFi device away for free if you sign a two-year contract but charges $269.99 without one. Its iPad deal, however, doesn't require a contract but only adds $130.99 to Apple's prices for each of its three iPad WiFi models. Month-by-month plans -- listed on a frequently-asked-questions "page" that consists of a single JPEG image, in violation of every rule of Web design ever written -- start at $20 for 1 gigabyte of use, plus $20 for each extra gigabyte or fraction. Or you can pay $35 for
5 3 GB or $50 for 5 GB, with overage fees of $10 per gig.
That deal seems good but not great, considering that Verizon charges $20 extra for 2 GB worth of WiFi tethering on some Android smartphones. (I'm assuming that most iPad owners also use smartphones.) More adventurous types could also "root" an Android phone and then enable WiFi tethering for free.
Meanwhile, you can buy an iPad at a growing variety of non-Apple stores. AT&T's stores will also begin selling the tablet computer on Oct. 28. Target got it at the beginning of this month. It's coming to Wal-Mart too. Who's next? How long until I see a shelf of iPads on sale at the Maryland House rest stop on Interstate 95?
| October 14, 2010; 11:48 AM ET
Categories: Gadgets, Mobile, Telecom
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