By Harry McCracken | Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 11:10 am
It’s not a Verizon iPhone, but could it be a sign of things to come? Starting on October 28th, Verizon Wireless will be selling Apple’s iPad in its stores. No, Apple hasn’t built an iPad that works on Verizon’s network: Instead, Verizon is bundling the Wi-Fi iPad with a MiFi mobile router that can deliver wireless Internet to the iPad via Wi-Fi. The total prices you’ll pay are the same as for AT&T 3G iPads: $629 for a 16GB iPad, $729 for a 32GB model, and $829 for a 64GB model. 1GB of data costs $20 a month, and I don’t see any mention in the announcement of a contract being required.
Using an iPad with a MiFi is a very viable alternative to buying an AT&T 3G model. I think so, anyhow: It’s what I do. (I use mine with a $60/month Verizon plan that provides me with 5GB of data, enough to let me use my laptop and iPad all I want without worrying about overages.)
I’m not going to puzzle out whether there’s any particular significance to the timing of today’s news, but even the most optimistic of predictions don’t involve Verizon having an iPhone until early 2011. By stocking the iPad this month, it gets an Apple goodie in time for the holidays–and an opportunity to buddy up with Apple fans before it has a phone they’ll want to buy.
In related news: AT&T, which has been powering the iPad’s 3G service but not selling the device itself until now, will begin stocking the tablet on the same day that Verizon stores do.