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Verizon briefs staff on iPad, stirs anti-AT&T talk

updated 08:35 pm EST, Tue March 9, 2010

Verizon hopes to sell MiFi to iPad buyers

Verizon tonight was caught distributing a memo to retail staff encouraging them to sell to iPad customers. The note obtained by Engadget encourages floor workers to promote the idea of using a Wi-Fi only iPad with a Novatel MiFi router. Mixing the two would not only save the $130 premium on an iPad with built-in 3G but would help users get off of AT&T's "overloaded network with limited coverage," according to the memo.

The strategy is slightly unusual as it ignores the actual cost of service. To achieve an instant bargain over the 3G iPad, a MiFi requires both $50 and a two-year contract; it costs $270 without. Verizon's plan costs twice as much per month at $60 for 5GB and gives the user a carrier-locked device where the iPad's own modem can be used on any provider that supports micro SIM cards. AT&T's $30 plan is also technically unlimited.

Novatel's option would primarily give iPad owners the option of sharing the 3G connection with four other devices where the iPad can't tether to an iPhone. AT&T doesn't have a MiFi or a similar 3G router as of today.

Verizon is known to heavily center its retail marketing around any Apple-related devices and has used unusual tactics to try and bring attention back to itself, such as proudly touting its normal store hours on the original iPhone's launch day as though they were a major opportunity. Lately, it has softened its stance and has separated Apple from AT&T, sometimes praising the iPhone but attacking the service it has to use.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Strategy for Stupid People

    Its an innovative way to get some publicity (such as in stories like this), but doesn't actually work out to be a good deal in any way.

    AT&T's very reasonable 3G PAYGO plan is a far better bargain for most people, given the cost (intial and ongoing) of the MiFi box.

    I can only imagine this would appeal to people who a) already own a MiFi and b) have a continuous need for 3G all the time rather than on a month-to-month basis.

  1. mskati

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009

    -1

    You can actually get a MiFi and pay

    By the month or even by the day. And the MiFi will provide 3G to your laptop and your friends' devices (up to 5) as well. Amazon lists the MiFi with no contract at $218. So it may be more expensive than 3G on the iPad, but it also gives you more, with alot of flexibility. I was thinking about doing this before I saw this article.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +4

    Interesting Solution

    I've been debating whether to get a 3G iPad or wi-fi only. The fact that the MiFi unit can be used with multiple devices, my MacBook Pro especially, seems like a workable and flexible solution.

    The downside, of course, is that you have to carry the thing around with you to get your 3G service. Plus, the internal battery is rated at only 4 hours of use. it seems a bit more complex than necessary to use with the iPad alone.

    @mstaki... Do you have links for the no contract MiFi and the pay-as-you-go service? If we had that info, it's certainly worth thinking about.

  1. ScottG

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    +1

    SPRINT Overdrive G4/G3 OPTIONS...

    I just purchased an Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless from SPRINT. It's Wicked FAST on 4G, and pretty astounding on 3G too. I live outside Philadelphia, PA. in South Jersey, and have outstanding 4G Coverage! If you live in an area that is served by this 4G/3G coverage, its worth looking into. Plus from my experience I see greater battery life on WiFi then on the 3G ATT's direct connection from the iPhone & iPod Touch I now use on Sprint 4G Network.

    The SPRINT Overdrive Sierra Wireless box is really small. I leave it in my Jacket on, and then use my MacPro, or iPodTouch to surf everywhere SPRINT has a 4G/3G connection. As for the 3G on Sprint, they too have a cap on 5Gb a month, but I always have a connection on either in my USA Travels. Since the iPAD does Not have a USB Port on it, and I suspect we will never see this either, because then you could with the right App plugin a USB Wireless Modem to bypass ATT all together. I was thinking that will a little messing around, I bet you could hack the USB Camera Plug to connect a USB Wireless Modem. I'm sure we will see some very interesting add-on products in the next few months.

    Another option to watch for is the company "CLEAR" only a 4G Connection, again in a limited area rollout, but they will have a MiFi Router soon too.

  1. bigjimid

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009

    0

    Ok idea

    This sounds like a great alternative to using Att network, but I keep falling back on the fact that if some one chooses to do this, they will then be paying for a monthly cell phone plan, monthly MiFi plan, and a monthly TV/internet plan at home. Seems like a lot of overlapping fees that could some how be rolled into one 3G/4G/wiFi/Mifi/internet access package for all their devices.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: OK idea

    but I keep falling back on the fact that if some one chooses to do this, they will then be paying for a monthly cell phone plan, monthly MiFi plan, and a monthly TV/internet plan at home.

    And how is this different than if you went to ATT? You'd still have the same plans.

    And if you have mifi, why are you getting internet at home? Just use the mifi. In fact, use that for the phone as well.

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