Apple iPad to Sport Unlocked 3G Support

| iPad

Apple's just introduced iPad tablet will support wireless 3G data network connectivity, and in what's sure to be a move that makes many potential buyers happy, it will ship unlocked with support for carriers that offer GSM micro SIM cards.

3G-enabled iPads will be able to take advantage of no-contract deals through AT&T, and users can activate 3G from the device, so they don't need to visit a store or connect to their computer when they want to sign up for wireless coverage.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that U.S. 3G coverage will be available when the iPad ships, and international deals should be available in June.

iPad 3G will set users back US$14.99 a month for 250MB, or $29.99 for unlimited data per month. Since users aren't required to sign a contract, they can pay for 3G coverage only in months where they actually need it, and rely on Wi-Fi the rest of the time.

[Thanks to Engadget for the initial iPad details.]

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GSM? Yeah, I will wait to see what Tmobile will do. I hate At&T. I have my iphone on Tmobile. I will never dd AT&T though. Never, again. Not even for free.


I especially like the tiered pricing; I just eBayed my (original) iPhone and replaced it with a (new) iPod Touch and simple pay-as-you-go phone because I don’t move much data over the cell-phone network, and I didn’t like having to cough up the same amount each month as somebody who’s streaming YouTube videos or something.

I might wish for true pay-as-you-go pricing like my current phone’s talk time, except that it would probably be priced so you need a really low usage to realize savings.  For example, I had the choice between 20 cents per text message or $5 per month for 200 messages on my current phone; paying per message makes sense only up to 25 messages per month, so for intermediate use from 26 to 200, the $5 per month is cheaper.  If this kind of ratio applied to data plans, one might expect $15 to buy about 30MB of data transfer a la carte (i.e., 1/8 as much as paying that $15 for a month’s worth, up to 250MB), or about 50 cents per MB.  Of course, my current phone charges 1 cent per kB, i.e., $10 per MB, so that would still be a screamin’ deal in comparison!  All in all, I hope that this flexibility eventually trickles down to the iPhone data plans so low-(3G-)bandwidth folks like my wife (who just got an iPhone 3G) can save some money.


The iPad won’t work on t-mobile.  “hmmm” needs to do more homework on his own carrier.

The iPhone 3G, if jailbroken, will function as a phone on the t-mobile network, but I’m sure hmmm knows that 3G does not, since t-mobile is retarded and decided they would use a different standard for 3G from the rest of the world.  Apple wisely chose to support the GSM-based 3G standard that AT&T and the rest of the world use.  T-mobile, in it’s own little walled garden, uses frequencies that would require every phone maker to add extra chipsets to every phone just to support t-mobile’s network (here in the US).

The iPad clearly uses the same radio tech as the iPhone, so it speaks AT&T’s flavor of 3G. (And the same flavor Europe uses, eventually)  On the iPhone, you have more than just a 3G connection: You have 2G connections and plain cellular (non-data) connections available, so it works… somewhat… on t-mobile’s network, if you jailbrake the iPhone so it’s unlocked.  The iPad comes to us unlocked… no jailbrake necessary!  But since it’s unable to communicate on t-mobile’s frequency, and it’s not a cellphone so the other frequencies aren’t a fallback option, it simply won’t work.


Unlocked is no advantage just now since it needs a micro-sim

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