The Apple iPad And Why I’m Glad I Purchased The 3G Model

  • Posted: 01 October 2010 04:15 AM

    I’ve been working hard on my FQ4 estimates and took a much needed break late tonight to post about the benefits of the Apple iPad with 3G.

    It’s my latest entry at The iPad Chronicles.

    Snippet: When I purchased the Apple iPad in July I was aware I’d be spending, accessories included, more than what most people would invest in a netbook or notebook PC. After almost three months of very active use, I’ve come to the conclusion the Apple iPad isn’t a replacement for a netbook or notebook PC. Rather, it’s a device that transcends the PC paradigm completely.

    If one is contemplating the purchase of an Apple iPad and choosing between models, the dollars invested in a 3G model are dollars well spent.

    After looking at some amazing numbers for the quarter, I chose to take a break and write about the device that has made those numbers possible.

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 04:59 AM #1

    I’ve got the 3G model and I hardly ever use the 3G service.  And I use the iPad every waking hour, taking it with me everywhere. 

    Wifi is everywhere.  And in most of the situations that wifi is not available, like on the road, I’m more likely to pull out my iPhone than my iPad anyway. 

    My advice to iPhone users on a tight budget:  buy the wifi iPad and save some bucks up front plus the monthly 3G charges.

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 05:24 AM #2

    Having 3G and the iPad today with no Internet at the office is well worth the one month cost of optional 3G service.

    While Wi-Fi is sometimes available away from home and office, the $14.99 I paid for 1 month of 3G service is less than what would have been charged for 4 days of in-room Internet on a recent trip.

    I do carry an iPhone, but being able to use the Apple iPad’s screen and Apple’s iWork suite for the iPad while sending and receiving emails in a conference room without Wi-Fi has already covered the difference in costs of both the 3G model and the 3G service in productivity gains.

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 09:42 AM #3

    I downloaded the upgraded Good Reader product last night. It now supports PDF annotations. This is a capability I was looking for. For $0.99 this app is an amazing value, and I think it should be a standard download for all iPad owners. No they didn’t pay me to say that grin.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 01 October 2010 09:51 AM #4

    My favorite thing about the 3G version is that most of the $130 goes straight to the bottom line. It’s Apple’s way of taking a cut of cellular data service fees without needing to have a revenue sharing agreement with the telecom orifices.

    Signature

    The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. — Steve Jobs

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 10:44 AM #5

    Apple II+ - 01 October 2010 12:51 PM

    My favorite thing about the 3G version is that most of the $130 goes straight to the bottom line. It’s Apple’s way of taking a cut of cellular data service fees without needing to have a revenue sharing agreement with the telecom orifices.

    From an AAPL shareholder perspective, I’d prefer to keep the iPad and the tablet category as far away from the cell providers as possible.  They distort markets.  I’m looking forward to an Android/iOS competition without the cell providers’ fat fingers on the scales.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 01 October 2010 11:03 AM #6

    macorange - 01 October 2010 01:44 PM
    Apple II+ - 01 October 2010 12:51 PM

    My favorite thing about the 3G version is that most of the $130 goes straight to the bottom line. It’s Apple’s way of taking a cut of cellular data service fees without needing to have a revenue sharing agreement with the telecom orifices.

    From an AAPL shareholder perspective, I’d prefer to keep the iPad and the tablet category as far away from the cell providers as possible.  They distort markets.  I’m looking forward to an Android/iOS competition without the cell providers’ fat fingers on the scales.

    The problem is you need always on network access to truly enable the full functionality of a device like the iPad. As far as markup.  Accessories seem to always have a higher markup, and the 3G card is an excellent example.  The BOM is probably around 30-40 dollars in parts, which are bought in bulk since they are mostly the same as in the iPhone 4.  Throw in a few dollars for royalties for 3G and Edge and we have a nice GM for folks needing this functionality. I bought it but have only used the data service 2 out of 6 months.  IMO the $130 was providing flexibility for circumstances where I needed data access and the iphone screen couldn’t get the job done comfortably.

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 11:30 AM #7

    pats - 01 October 2010 02:03 PM

      IMO the $130 was providing flexibility for circumstances where I needed data access and the iphone screen couldn’t get the job done comfortably.

    Exactly.  grin

    It adds versatility to the device and that has worked out extraordinarily well when needed. I’m a bit surprised at what’s charged for Wi-Fi service at some locations. I was recently at a location that charged $14.95 for the day for a decent Wi-Fi connection. For four cents more I get a month’s 3G data service through AT&T.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 01 October 2010 12:02 PM #8

    A friend who is a strong Windows supporter just bought the top of the line iPad just for kicks.  He owns to Apple products at all until now.

    He can not put it down. :-D

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 01 October 2010 12:18 PM #9

    macorange - 01 October 2010 01:44 PM
    Apple II+ - 01 October 2010 12:51 PM

    My favorite thing about the 3G version is that most of the $130 goes straight to the bottom line. It’s Apple’s way of taking a cut of cellular data service fees without needing to have a revenue sharing agreement with the telecom orifices.

    From an AAPL shareholder perspective, I’d prefer to keep the iPad and the tablet category as far away from the cell providers as possible.  They distort markets.  I’m looking forward to an Android/iOS competition without the cell providers’ fat fingers on the scales.

    Just curious, but can you point to *any* android tablet device that won’t have carrier subsidy?  If for no other reason than to have a lower selling point than the iPad.

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 03:28 PM #10

    A few days ago I was speaking with a friend who was planning a weekend trip. She was trying to determine the best way to get Internet access for her Apple iPad.

    The hotel provides in-room Internet access for a fee (or free with certain premium reservation packages)but not Wi-Fi. After evaluating the options it was determined it was best to activate 3G on the iPad for a month.

    For $15 she can roam freely with the Apple iPad and use it while attending a couple of weekend events without concern for Wi-Fi access.

    The versatility of the 3G option, whether it’s used frequently or infrequently, is worth the investment.

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 04:54 PM #11

    Here’s a thought:

    What about the Apple iPad with 3G as a budget alternative to a smartphone? Not everyone is interested in a smartphone with recurring monthly data charges.

    There are millions of potential iPad customers interested first or primarily in an iPad as an electronic book reader. They may or may not have a smartphone and for only $15 per month they can have 3G service as an option.

    This allows a person to continue using a much less expensive voice handset without recurring monthly data fees and the ability to use the 3G capabilities of the Apple iPad when needed or desired.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 01 October 2010 06:41 PM #12

    I just got back from a conference in DC.
    iPads everywhere. iPhones everywhere. MacBooks everywhere (~50% of the laptops at the meeting).

    A year ago I was the lone Mac user at the same meeting, although iPhones were in abundance. IMHO, the iPad is amplifying the halo effect that began with the iPod.

    When I got to the airport this morning, I was amazed at the number of iPads. I found one lady using an iPad in one hand and an iPhone in the other. I asked her if she had 3G on her iPad. She said yes, but she hasn’t activated it yet - she just uses her iPhone where wifi is not available.

    Interestingly, I bought the 3G iPad the day it came out, and I haven’t activated the 3G on mine either. However, I still find the 3G functionality to be an indispensable insurance policy for situations where wifi may not be available. I will be in that very situation at Thanksgiving, when my mom and I will be hanging out at a time share in Florida. She will also activate the 3G on her iPad, which will be her only connection to the internet when she is down there.

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 07:48 PM #13

    DawnTreader - 01 October 2010 07:15 AM

    I’ve been working hard on my FQ4 estimates and took a much needed break late tonight to post about the benefits of the Apple iPad with 3G.
    ....
    If one is contemplating the purchase of an Apple iPad and choosing between models, the dollars invested in a 3G model are dollars well spent.

    After looking at some amazing numbers for the quarter, I chose to take a break and write about the device that has made those numbers possible.

    I actually disagree with this wholeheartedly.  I think the way Apple and AT&T have purposely crippled both the iPhone and iPad to disallow the iPad to be tethered to an iPhone is infuriating.  iPhone can (FINALLY) only tether via bluetooth or USB, iPad bluetooth tethering is disabled and it obviously has no USB port.  Nice eh?

    Why should I pay an extra $130 for the device and another $15-$30/month for another 3G data plan when I already have a device with a 3G data connection for which I already pay $30/month and has the ability to act as WiFi hot spot to which the iPad can connect?

    Therefore, I bought the WiFi only iPad and saving the $130 allowed me to afford larger storage.  95% of the time that I use the iPad I’m in a WiFi hotspot (home, coffee shop, hotel, etc).  The 5% that I’m actually out and about with the iPad and don’t have access to WiFi, I have my iPhone with me.  Therefore, I opted to jailbreak and use an app that allows my iPhone to become a WiFi hotspot.  I then connect my iPad via WiFi to my iPhone and use it’s 3G data connection.  Ridiculous that an iPhone cannot do this without a jailbreak while any number of Android phones have this ability out of the box. 

    It’s costing Apple and AT&T at least one iPhone 4 sale right now.  I’ve been holding out for the white iPhone 4 (which may or may not come in Dec/Jan).  However, now that I see how useful turning my iPhone into a sharable WiFi hotspot is, I may not opt for the iPhone 4.  An Android, ironically, may end up being the smartphone better suited for my use case with my iPad.  Many ask why not buy an iPhone 4 and just jailbreak it?  Two words: Voided Warranty.  Didn’t have a problem experimenting with jail-breaking my 2+ year old iPhone 3G as the Warranty is already over.  Won’t void the warranty on a brand new iPhone 4 by jailbreaking it.  So if I want to keep this functionality for my iPad, I’ll have to go with something other than an iPhone. 

    It’s sad really.  Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love my iPad and it has become my primary personal computing device at this point and it’s for this reason that my smartphone must have the ability to tether my iPad.

    Phil

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 07:58 PM #14

    jpashin - 01 October 2010 09:41 PM

    I just got back from a conference in DC.
    iPads everywhere. iPhones everywhere. MacBooks everywhere (~50% of the laptops at the meeting).

    Must have been a “consumer” conference.  We all know there hasn’t been any adoption in the “enterprise”.  :-D

    Signature

    I don’t mind being wrong…,I just hate being wrong so FAST!

         
  • Posted: 01 October 2010 08:05 PM #15

    Phil:

    I appreciate your view.

    But I use my iPad in business and I’m not going to jailbreak my iPhone. For me, the $130 is well worth the investment for the 3G model. The $15 I pay monthly (when I need it) for the data plan is less than I’d pay for even a couple/few days of Wi-Fi at some hotels. It’s also far less than most pay for 3G service on a notebook PC.

    Sitting in a conference room or meeting room that lacks Wi-Fi I want to use my iPad without complications.

    Your uses might be different than mine, but for my work the iPad with 3G works just fine as a solution. I’ve found myself in several situations over the past two weeks alone in which Wi-Fi wasn’t available. The option of using or turning on and using 3G on my iPad is an attractive one and I don’t have to worry about jail breaking my iPhone to get connected.