Ina Fried

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New iPad a Hotspot Now for Verizon, Not So Much With AT&T

So we jumped the gun a bit when we said that the new iPad can act as a hotspot for both Verizon and AT&T.

As our now-corrected story notes, the hotspot feature is ready now for Verizon. AT&T, meanwhile, says it is working with Apple on the feature. However, it won’t be ready for those buying or getting their iPads today, nor is there an ETA for when it will be available.

The hotspot capability lets the iPad serve as an Internet connection for a laptop or other Wi-Fi device.

It’s not immediately clear what the holdup is, as Verizon is offering the feature, and AT&T already offers a hotspot option on its iPhone lineup.

An Apple representative said that the company has turned on the feature at the hardware level, and that it is available to any carrier that wants to offer it.

Meanwhile, a couple of other notes on the iPad models with built-in cellular connectivity.

As a reminder, the iPads in both the AT&T and Verizon options will run on high-speed LTE networks, where available. However, because AT&T and Verizon use different frequency bands, buyers have to decide at the time of purchase which one they want.

Beyond North America, Apple isn’t supporting LTE, but is supporting faster flavors of the HSPA network that are being adopted faster than LTE abroad. Models purchased abroad will support LTE on AT&T’s network, while both Verizon and AT&T iPads bought in the U.S. will be able to roam internationally on 3G.

Apple isn’t making a version of the new iPad that works on networks from either Sprint or T-Mobile USA.

Of course, chances are that none of this was on the minds of the happy folks who lined up this morning for the first units, like this crowd in New York City:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus