You should still consider a 4G Apple iPad, I bought one myself

You should still consider a 4G Apple iPad, I bought one myself

Summary: More phones can be used for tethering and carriers are supporting it on my data plans, but there are still valid reasons for paying the $129 premium for 4G on the new iPad.

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I ordered my new iPad, a 32GB Verizon 4G model, yesterday and as you consider which one of the nine available models (18 if you count the black and white option too) I thought it might be helpful to revisit my 5 reasons to consider the 4G (was 3G) iPad. It's been nearly a year since I wrote that blog post and I can now let you know if these reasons proved themselves with my iPad 2 and if there are other reasons to consider a new 4G LTE model, with a $129 premium cost.

There are many more smartphones today with WiFi hotspot functionality and over the last year carriers have tried different fee structures and now Verizon and AT&T have options that are reasonable. In particular, you get mobile hotspot functionality included with your data plan on both of these carriers when you have a 4GB or higher plan. You may want to go with 2GB on your smartphone and then pay for 2GB to 5GB for your new iPad. BTW, here are the data fees for the two new LTE iPads:

AT&T

  • 250MB per month $14.99
  • 3GB per month $30.00
  • 5GB per month $50.00

Verizon

  • 1GB per month $20.00
  • 2GB per month $30.00
  • 5GB per month $50.00

My previous reasons remain valid and in addition you get LTE (if you don't have a new LTE phone, including an iPhone 4S) and tethering included with your no-contract iPad data allowance. I used the 3G functionality for about 6 months over the last year and the following ended up being key reasons I went ahead and ordered a 4G iPad this year:

  1. I can't afford to have my phone die when being used for a mobile hotspot.
  2. I don't have a LTE device and loved the fast data when I tried it on other phones in 2011.
  3. I love the flexibility to only turn on data when I need it.
  4. The ease of data on your iPad means you never have to worry about connection issues between devices.

We all have different needs too and as Jason pointed out, he purchased a WiFi only iPad and provided reasons he doesn't need integrated 4G.
Did you order a 4G iPad or a WiFi-only iPad?

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Verizon, Wi-Fi

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32 comments
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  • You should still consider a 4G Apple iPad, I bought one myself

    I was thinking about getting one myself but the problem is that the version of 4G that is currently available in Australia is not currently supported on the new iPad with 4G which kind of defeats the purpose
    David Brookes
  • If Only...

    If Apple offered a 7" iPad, I could easily see myself buying a 4G iPad and a feature phone. But paying for a data plan on both my phone and mu tablet feels like highway robbery.
    dsf3g
  • re: Order

    [i]I ordered my new iPad, a 32GB Verizon 4G model, yesterday...[/i]

    Where did you order yours through, Apple? I've contacted VZW and they keep telling me it's not available for order yet.
    Badgered
    • Dude

      The preorder is through Apple!
      slickjim
  • not buying another

    what gets me is the $100 premium for each doubling of flash space. I know this is nothing new and some of the competition does the same. But this is about 2 years after the ipad1 and same flash prices. So I am paying $100 for 16GB flash on the low end. Thats at least 4x the going rate for flash. Even at the next level to go up 32GB is still way too high. There is absolutely no reason to exclude a micro sd slot except greed.
    deathjazz
    • Don't disagree but...

      I don't disagree with you that the cost for each level of storage is high but if you can't see reasons other than greed for excluding a micro SD slot then you need to open your eyes a bit.
      non-biased
  • Ordered 4G Version

    I ordered the 4G version for the following reasons.

    I have an Sprint iPhone 4S through my employer which is limited to 3G. It wouldn't matter anyway since Sprint doesn't have 4G coverage in my area.

    Verizon HAS 4G coverage in my area. I was thinking about getting a Verizon Windows LTE phone whenever one became available but that would mean I'd have to carry around dual phones. I would have preferred a smaller device enabling the 4G gateway (portability, I always have my phone, etc.) but in my very particular situation I have a paid for phone via my employer and a $50 bill on a separate device that I own and control. It pretty much eliminates the need for a 3rd mobile device down the road and *hopefully* Verizon has the hotspot enabled for my laptop connection when I need it. (If not I'm going to be totally bummed.)

    I'm doubting that 4G will optimize the iPad as much as it will partner devices that will use the 4G service over top of the iPad. Unless you're constantly streaming video, the apps I use on the iPad just merely require an occasional "refresh" which aren't really a a big deal on 3G as it is.

    The iPad 2 seems to have had notably better battery life than my iPhone 4S. Apple's stance that 4G will not affect battery life will pretty much ensure that I'm not going to have to keep a 4G device plugged in on a typical day.

    I would also have to agree that if battery life ISN'T optimal, I'd rather have my iPad die than my phone service.
    SanityKills
  • I can't wait to hear the screams....

    When the data overage bills/throttling start coming in from using these data hogs....
    I'll enjoy a chuckle at the misery of those who find out just how expensive these things are really going to be.
    Sceptical Observer
    • Relishing in others' misfortune...

      ...makes you, sir, into an esshole.
      servie
  • If you can afford the iPad, hopefully you do something GOOD with your $

    If you think you deserve the shiny new Apple toy, hopefully you will spend at LEAST an equal amount of time and/or money helping the disadvantaged who would never even consider wasting money on a purposely crippled, overpriced toy that is made by oppressed (nearly) slave laborers. Sleep tight if you don't. It also floors me that people know they are being price-gouged for these things and do not care. I feel insulted every time Apple makes a presentation, they are one notch above QVC or HSN the way they pitch their stuff. Sorry, I am not buying anything from any of those three companies.
    greg@...
    • Sigh. Another preacher.

      Point by point greg because you need to have some misinformation corrected.[b]

      If you think you deserve the shiny new Apple toy, hopefully you will spend at LEAST an equal amount of time and/or money helping the disadvantaged who would never even consider wasting money on a purposely crippled, overpriced toy that is made by oppressed (nearly) slave laborers. [/b]

      Wow right off the bat you display your socioeconomic envy, your dislike of Apple, and your ignorance. When you bought YOUR PC did YOU spend at least an equal amount of time and/or money helping the disadvantaged? Because Most of not all PCs are also made in China - you know where those (nearly) slave laborers are. So unless you have keep your piehole shut and don;t throw rocks at glass houses.[b]

      Sleep tight if you don't. It also floors me that people know they are being price-gouged for these things and do not care.[/b]

      Okay check out price points of Android based tablets - ALL of them - and get back to us about price-gouging. Here's a clue to help you out - there is not that much of a price difference between the iPads and similarly equipped Android based tablets which also are made by even more of that (nearly) slave labor you decry.[b]

      I feel insulted every time Apple makes a presentation, they are one notch above QVC or HSN the way they pitch their stuff. Sorry, I am not buying anything from any of those three companies.[/b]

      Then don't buy anything from any of them. But by all means and with all due respect do not come here to whine about it and try to call out those who do purchase iPads and infer that they support slave labor when that PC you used to deliver your drivel was also made by slave labor.
      athynz
      • PCs can do REAL WORK

        A lot of People in the world have some real work to do during most of their time, rather than plain browsing and blogging on Ipads or playing Angry Birds. A PC/Laptop is best suited for those requirements.
        nt_prashant@...
      • Real Work

        @nt_prashant
        Let's forget for a moment that your definition of 'real work' is dependent on your job. Let's forget for a moment the *real* image editing demonstrated at the Apple Keynote (very impressive).

        What does your comment have to do with the thread you placed it in? Oh yeah, *nothing*.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • very nicely said..

        Agree 100%!!
        T-Wrench
      • Real work?

        @nt_prashant The fact that you are unable to figure out how to do real work on an iPad or any other tablet says far more about your shortcomings than the devices.
        non-biased
      • Hey, i love this intelligent answer

        Too bad greg wont learn. But i love your logic and truth.

        Thanks.
        immunezone
    • Good for you

      Good for you, now move on and post where somebody cares.
      non-biased
  • Feel free to prove any of that Pete

    Just because I am against the way Apple does business, I guess that makes me automatically envious in your book, nice try. As far as all PCs being made using the same labor practices as Apple, feel free to give us specific proof, like the FACTS we have about FoxConn. I am not saying the iPad is not a good product, it seems to be, but I am offended enough by Apple's business practices to not want to buy their stuff. $100 extra for 16 GB? Then why is the next 32 GB only $100? Something sounds wrong there, see @willyampz post for more on that. You really can't compare an iPad to an Android device, because that are not purposely crippled. No memory card slot or USB? Guess I will just overpay for more memory and buy ANOTHER iPad if I need more storage. And the BS reason for not supporting Flash, anyone with half a brain knows that was purely because of Jobs' ego, but the customer is the one who misses out because of it. Check out Apple's profit margins compared to any other similar company and tell me they are not price gouging, so you've got that going for you when you buy from them. All of those faithful customers and Apple takes advantage every way they can to squeeze more money out of them. Not sure where you live, but in the US we are allowed to publicly share our opinions to try and convince others of (what we might feel is) the error of their ways, so don't whine about my whining and tell me I should be quiet and keep it to myself. Apple seems to make decent products but the numerous ways they gouge and disrepect their customers turns my stomach.
    greg@...
    • Well....

      If we are here to "publicly share our opinions and convince others of the error in their ways" then I don't think that's very American at all. That's not even positive human behavior. That goes against human beings having free-will and being able to think for themselves. Who is anybody to tell or try to convince somebody that they are wrong? There is no right or wrong, there is only a perception of these concepts which is usually based on personal experience.

      I agree with you though, Apple's business practices may seem a little shady, however I will mention that the keyword in there is "business". Their business is selling products and turning profits. They are not in the business of winning hearts and minds or making people happy. It is obvious that enough people are satisfied with their products though. Whatever they can do to ensure that they turn a profit and keep costs down for themselves, then that's what they are going to do. They are a global entity and their supply chain happens to exist in another part of the world.

      Not every company can assembly their products here in the US. Dell is one of the exceptions, however, the semiconductors that are used on the motherboards, memory and many of the other components that are used in our systems are still manufactured in countries where they have cheaper, or you put it "slave" labor. It just so happens that Dell has been doing this for a long time and they have a well established supply chain which affords them the ability to do business the way that they are doing it. Apple once manufactured their goods in the US as well, but their supply chain is much different than that of any other company.

      Another thing, yeah people can point and call out Steve Jobs and talk about how he didn't want Flash on any Apple product but it wasn't purely his ego, it is the simple fact that Flash is known to be a vulnerable application/plug-in. Adobe themselves are no longer developing Flash as a mobile plug-in and are moving towards helping the development of HTML5, which essentially eliminates the need for flash (Apple by the way was one of the first adopters/supporters of HTML5).

      Bottom line, yeah it sucks to pay that much for these products but if demand continues to be as high as it is, then the prices are justified, that's the basic economics of supply and demand. Sure I would love to have a memory card slot in my iPad as well but maybe there was no feasible way to fit it inside their design and maybe the addition of expandable memory would push prices up.

      So if you don't like the product, then simply don't support it, as you have mentioned that you will not. But don't denigrate others for wanting to purchase goods because you don't like them.
      jimcolv
    • Foxconn

      I've gone to Foxconn's website in the past and seen a partial list of their customers that includes most of the major electronics brands out there. It takes some digging to find that information, though.

      If that's too difficult, you don't even have to go any further than Wikipedia to find a partial list of companies using Foxconn for manufacturing. Section 3 of the article:
      Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
      Amazon.com (United States)
      Apple Inc. (United States)
      Cisco (United States)
      Dell (United States)
      Hewlett-Packard (United States)
      Intel (United States)
      Microsoft (United States)
      Motorola Mobility (United States)
      Nintendo (Japan)
      Nokia (Finland)
      Samsung Electronics (South Korea)
      Sony (Japan)
      Toshiba (Japan)
      Vizio (United States)

      At least Apple has been conducting audits and releasing information about their suppliers - both positive and negative. For you to think that only Apple uses these manufacturing plants is pure willful ignorance. If you don't like Apple, then don't buy Apple, but don't assume that anyone else is any better when 10 seconds of research reveals the error of that thought process.
      use_what_works_4_U