Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

So How Much Is My Monthly Data Plan With the iPad 2?

Although the price of the iPad 2 is the same its predecessor’s, there are now more options for those buying a model with cellular data connectivity.

Whereas the original iPad only supported AT&T, the new model comes in both AT&T and Verizon flavors, much as the iPhone does.

On the original iPad, AT&T offered two monthly options: 250MB of data for $15 or 2GB for $25. Once that prepaid data plan was used up, people could either wait until the next month or just pay again and start a new month of service.

With the new iPad, there are a couple additional options. In addition to offering the same options it did with the original iPad, AT&T is adding a second option, where users get billed at the end of the month. Users pay the same amount for the two data plans, but instead of buying a new plan if they run over their monthly allotment, users are billed at $10 per gigabyte for overages.

Finally, the iPad 2 also comes in a Verizon option. Verizon has several monthly plans ranging from $20 per month to $80 per month and anywhere from 1GB to 10GB of data. Below is a chart that tries to make all this a little easier to digest.

One important thing to remember, though, is that while the iPad 2 has the option for both Verizon and AT&T, there are two separate models, so once a buyer chooses one, they are stuck with that carrier for the life of the iPad. Also, in both cases, the data option is month-to-month with no long-term commitment.

In the coming days, I am sure we will be hearing plenty from both companies about why their iPad is a better option. If the iPhone advertising is any clue, expect AT&T to mention the speed of its 3G network and that its model will work in more overseas locations (for a hefty price), while Verizon will tout the reliability of its network. Both can make a case for offering a better price under certain scenarios, given their many different options.

Here’s the chart that breaks down the respective costs.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik