If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em: Verizon is apparently going to attempt to lure early iPad adopters with Wi-Fi only devices into getting their 3G data from AT&T’s competitor. Engadget has discovered an internal memo from Verizon which attempts to paint the device as yet another sales opportunity for them, according to AppleInsider -- this time luring Wi-Fi only iPad users into the warm embrace of the company’s 3G data network through a device such as the MiFi.
“Why pay more for the 3G version and get 3G service on an overloaded network with limited coverage?” the memo exclaims, clearly a continuation of Verizon’s jabs at rival AT&T, who will be offering the contract-free 3G data service for Apple’s new iPad when that version arrives in late April.
Verizon is using the early availability of the Wi-Fi only model of iPad on April 3 as an opportunity to offer their 3G network coupled with a device such as the pocketable MiFi, which allows up to five devices to tether to its wireless hotspot.
While Verizon notes that the 3G version of the iPad costs an extra $130, they fail to note that their 5GB data-only plan is $60 per month and requires a 2-year contract. By comparison, AT&T’s “unlimited” data plan for the iPad is only $29.99 per month -- which doesn’t require a contract and can be purchased or canceled directly from the device at any time.
In the months leading up to the iPad announcement in late January, Verizon was often cited as a potential partner for 3G data on the device. It’s rumored that AT&T actually outbid their competitor by offering cheaper data plans with no contracts. In addition to the $29.99 unlimited per month plan, iPad customers will also have access to an even-cheaper $14.99 per month with only 250MB of data for light use.