updated 03:30 pm EST, Tue January 11, 2011
Verizon teases 3G or 4G iPad in future
Verizon CFO Francis Shammo in a talk today confirmed that his carrier would have a version of the iPad with cellular access built-in. He didn't say whether it would use EVDO-based 3G or support 4G over LTE. No timeline was given to Bloomberg for when the upgrade would come about, although the absence of a model in sync with the Verizon iPhone pointed to it coming no sooner than the next-generation iPad.
Supplier leaks have pointed to Verizon having an EVDO model, separate from the HSPA version for most carriers, that could arrive as soon as March.
The implementation could greatly simplify the 3G iPad experience for Verizon users. They can already buy an iPad directly from Verizon today but have to buy it attached to a MiFi router with a recurring, though contract-free, data plan. A native EVDO version would open the possibility of AT&T-style prepaid access where customers can pay for service only as they need it.
Switching to internal 3G may not necessarily drop multi-device sharing. The new addition of mobile hotspot creation in iOS 4.2.5 opens the possibility of the iPad also getting its own sharing support and thus letting users share connections with smartphones, computers and other nearby devices. Tethering between iPads and iPhones has been a commonly requested feature but hasn't been possible until now.