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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.

vzw_ipad_ad.png

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?

By Rob Pegoraro  | October 14, 2010; 11:48 AM ET
Categories:  Gadgets, Mobile, Telecom  
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Comments

Does anyone really care?

Posted by: ancientdude | October 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It's fantastic that Apple is expanding to other service providers, but I want to remind everyone that Clear's iSpot would be the same type of setup as the Verizon Mi-Fi, though with the improvement of 4G over 3G speeds. Buy the cheaper Wi-Fi iPad from Apple and the iSpot will only cost $25/mo. You can connect up to 8 iOS devices to faster 4G speeds. The iSpot from Clear should not be overlooked by those who live in a strong 4G coverage area.

Lucille at Clear.com

Posted by: theclearblog | October 14, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Hang around Maryland House a lot do you?

Posted by: solong_430 | October 14, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Rob, while I despise attempts at marketing via these comments, I think the one made on behalf of Clear points out a legitimate hole in the story- Verizon is not offering a unique capability. Every day there are more ways to access WiFi, and the MiFi is only one of them. Doesn't that deserve a mention, maybe a little compare and contrast?

I greatly appreciate that Clear identified themselves honestly. However, I think the comment should be deleted in order to avoid the precedent that even honest vendors can market their products here. BUT, the comment should be deleted ONLY after the point itself is addressed in the body of the story.

We can tell, Rob, that you've seen a lot of interest in a Verizon iPad, but it's alright with me if you take a breath before filing. I still think you're the best!

Disclosure: I use Clear at home. It's OK, with plusses and minuses. I'm writing about the precedent, not the product.

Posted by: qtrfoil85 | October 14, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I am also a Clear user. My WiMax 4G iSpot and I get along well most of the time. The plan costs $25 per month, unlimited and will work with any iOS device.

I don't care for self-promotion in comments, either. Clear should buy an ad instead.

Posted by: query0 | October 15, 2010 5:21 AM | Report abuse

I am also a Clear user. My WiMax 4G iSpot and I get along well most of the time. The plan costs $25 per month, unlimited and will work with any iOS device.

I don't care for self-promotion in comments, either. Clear should buy an ad instead.

Posted by: query0 | October 15, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Anybody that is foolish enough to buy an iPad from Verizon and then have to carry around the MiFi device too hasn't done their market research very well.

As the article and comments have alluded to there are way better options out there right now.

Posted by: trpt | October 15, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"More adventurous types could also "root" an Android phone and then enable WiFi tethering for free."

Actually, you do not need to root an Android phone to tether it. There are a number of free apps that provide tethering without rooting the phone.

Posted by: scoho | October 15, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"More adventurous types could also "root" an Android phone and then enable WiFi tethering for free."

Actually, you do not need to root an Android phone to tether it. There are a number of free apps that provide tethering without rooting the phone.

Posted by: scoho | October 15, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Verizon is a BUSINESS. Actually, they are far more solid & successful than theWashington Post. Apple , too, is a BUSINESS. When Apple came out with the iPad several Washington Post weirdos suggested that it was named as a menstrual pad. Man UP. Someday, ya nevah' know, maybe some chick will come to YOUR pad. Or, NOT.

Posted by: craigslsst | October 15, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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