iPad comes to Verizon!

Well, now, isn’t this interesting: I just heard from Verizon that their stores will start selling the iPad on October 28. With 3G data packages.

Hold on…it’s not that interesting. Verizon will carry the entire range of WiFi models and pairing them with their MiFi mobile 3G WiFi hotspot. So it’s not a 3G iDevice communicating directly through the Verizon 3G network.

Still, that’s a compelling data point. Apple had been expanding the range of iPad retail outlets beyond Apple Stores and AT&T all this quarter; you can buy them at Wal*Mart, for instance. But Verizon is the first mobile wireless store that will have it…and barring another Interesting email, the online.

So! Rumors of a “sooner rather than later” Verizon iPhone have just clicked one stop higher on the credibility scale. Mind you, it’s still firmly in the “I won’t believe it until I hear an official announcement” zone.

I’m a big fan of the MiFi. I have one, and used it exclusively for mobile and travel access for more than a year. And until my personal iPad 3G arrived, it was how I connected to the Internet with an iPad when I wasn’t at home or in The Bagel Place With The WiFi. These devices are the most economical way to get mobile broadband on as many devices as possible. You wind up paying just one monthly fee instead of two or three. It supports up to five connections at a time and works with anything that has a WiFi pulse.

Bonus: it’s a base station. I often use it just to set up a local intranet in my hotel room, to handle file sharing and data transfers between devices.

The data plan is fair. You get one gig of data for $20 a month. No word yet on whether you need to buy it under contract or if you can go month to month. Verizon is happy to sell you an iPad without the MiFi, too.

[Updated: I’ve heard back from Verizon on the plan. You do need to sign a service agreement for the 3G, but you’re paying month to month; as with the iPad 3G on AT&T, there’s no fee for canceling.]

Full details are available on Verizon’s website.

But yes, the big deal is that Apple and Verizon have clearly allowed themselves to be seen holding hands in a restaurant. Perhaps they’re planning a summer wedding, with the release of a dual-channel GSM/CDMA phone that will work on all networks. 

13 thoughts on “iPad comes to Verizon!”

  1. I believe it’s a test, & will Expire, If Verizon doesn’t produce enough sales. Because the AT&T Stores get them the same day.

  2. Sounds like you can only get the special plans if you buy the mifi+ipad bundle. Kind of a bummer for people who already have an iPad. But it does say “month-to-month, no obligation plan” on the splash page.

    I supposed I’ll content myself with my existing 3G iPad, at least it should have longer battery life for the data connection. Although at the price of those plans, it would be somewhat tempting for the ability to connect other devices.

  3. Hardware pricing is basically the same as a 3G iPad, i.e., you pay $130 extra for the MiFi. 3G plans are similar (ATT $15 for .25GB, $25 for 2GB; V $20 for 1GB, $35 for 3GB, $50 for 5GB). So tradeoff is integrated/tough to share vs. extra device/shareable.

    Looks like a wash to me.

  4. Buy an iPad. Get the Virgin Mobile MiFi and plan. $40 for unlimited data. I understand it is on the Sprint network, which has worked great for me.

    I turned of off the ATT data plan and never looked back.

  5. Unfortunately the iPad will be the only device able to connect because Verizon has locked the Mifi down.

  6. The Verizon network can’t handle it either. I had an Eris and a Moto Droid. Speeds where HORRIBLE. Found a loop hole in my contract to get out and all the problems I had with my phones.

    In KC at least AT&T’s data speeds are faster. Wasn’t location when I couldn’t get XM or iheartradio to keep a connection at work. Work VERY close geographically to the Sprint WHQ campus in KC/Overland Park KS. No problem on AT&T even inside my cube.

    I changed to the iPhone 4. While not the most exciting version it was great to get away from VZ. Good luck on Verizon if you get suckered into that deal.

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