AT&T and Verizon Thursday announced their prices for iPad 2 models and their 3G data plans. At least one thing is clear at the start: the tablet computer price tag is $100 cheaper at AT&T.
The iPad data plans from both carriers are capped, so you're paying a monthly fee for a set amount of data. Both offer monthly billing, without a service contract.
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AT&T is sweetening the deal a bit more by offering "for a limited time" one month of free data use for subscribers who opt for the carrier's $25 plan, for 2GB.
Here's the comparison:
iPad pricing (all models come with Wi-Fi and 3G):
iPad models AT&T Verizon
16 GB $529 $629.99
32 GB $629 $729.99
64 GB $729 $829.99
Apple's online store lists the same models, for AT&T and Verizon, with the higher prices: $629, $729 and $829.
Comparison of the data plans is a bit trickier.
AT&T has two iPad plans:
$14.99 per month, for 250MB (if you go over, you're charged the same amount for up to the same amount of additional data)
$25 per month, for 2GB (if you go over, it's $10 for each additional 1GB)
IPad 2 with iOS 4.3 lets you create a personal hotspot, so up to three Wi-Fi devices can connect to the tablet and share its cellular data link. This is an option with AT&T, for those choosing the $25 data plan. You pay a "tethering fee" of $20 per month, and that fee also gives you 2GB more of data per month, so a "third" iPad data plans is:
4GB for $45.
Verizon has four monthly plans for the iPad:
$20 for 1GB
$35 for 3GB
$50 for 5GB
$80 for 10GB
If you're already a subscriber to either carrier, these prices are separate from any data plan you might currently have for a cell phone.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
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