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Next iPad may lean heavily on 3G models

updated 05:15 pm EST, Fri February 4, 2011

iPad 2 unit breakdown to be 62 percent 3G

Apple's second-generation iPad should depend heavily on 3G equipped models based on further discussion of supplier checks. Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now understands that 3G iPads should represent about 62 percent of the five million iPads being made in the initial batch. Of the total group outlined to AppleInsider, the most popular would be the HSPA-based K94 model, which at 46 percent or 2.3 million would outpace the Wi-Fi edition's (K93's) 1.9 million.

Only 16 percent (800,000) would be for the EVDO-focused K95 variant destined for Verizon and possibly other CDMA carriers. The share would be disproportionate to the carrier bias and would suggest confidence that people would buy 3G iPads for their prepaid data options even with the option of a mobile hotspot on the iPhone.

Much of the shift would reflect an increasing shift towards 3G models for the current tablet. Although the Wi-Fi iPad is often used as the selling point through its low price and the independence from carriers, recent unofficial but supposedly leaked demographics have shown given away for free for anyone who signs up to certain contracts.

The Wi-Fi version of the iPad is unlikely to go away in the near future since it both lowers the minimum asking price and costs less to make. Cellular chipsets are dropping in price but can usually command a premium.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    How much?

    Does that 3G chipset really add to the cost? Estimates have the cost for the 3G chips well south of $30. If Apple eliminated the Wifi model completely, and only sold 3G enabled devices, that would be a huge positive. The next step, of course is a truly universal iPad. One that works with all carriers. Select your carrier and go. This way, you can buy one iPad and get the best possible service. I'm sure the carriers would fight the c*** out of that option though.

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: May 2001


    bjojade ...

    bjojade, It might bad idea to have a 3G only model. Look at the Galaxy Tab as an example. You can't get the device without paying for VZW service. (Yes, it's pre-paid and you can turn it off, but you need the activation fee every time you want to re-add it.)

    If they follow at&t's model of "turn it on/turn it off", no contract, no activation fee, then I'm ok with that. Otherwise, better let me just have my wi-fi model. (along with my no-contract virgin mobile mifi device)

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