Today is D-Day for the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at the Apple Store.  The lines have probably already formed.  The people in line have pre-ordered their iPad’s back in March; unfortunately, if you pre-ordered in the past month, you will have to wait another week or so.  Apple is going to open the lines at 5:00pm, and start the selling frenzy.  If your lucky they might have extras left over, and you can grab yourself one.

The one thing that separates this iPad from the one that launched on April 3rd is the 3G capability. This will allow you to use the Internet wherever you receive an AT&T 3G signal, and as a bonus you can connect to over 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots for free.  I would like to now delve into AT&T’s pricing and Data Plans for the iPad.

3G Domestic Billing & Data Plans

AT&T is offering two data plans with no contract.  This is a great feature, however, you will need to read the fine print.  Even though you are not required to sign a contract with AT&T, you will be billed every thirty days, if you do not cancel.  So, that means if you sign up for service on April 30th, your thirty days start on that date.  You will have to let AT&T know that your don’t want to renew for another month, if you only wanted one month.  This leads me to my next point about how you will be billed for the service.  You will not receive a statement from AT&T like you would with an iPhone.  Instead you will see a charge on your credit card.  So if you don’t want to pay interest on your monthly bill, I would suggest getting that charge payed every month.

AT&T has two different Data Plans they offer:

  • $14.99 per month for 250MB
  • $29.99 per month for unlimited data

These are great prices, considering if you got a 3G broadband plan on it’s own you are going to pay $60.00 a month for the service.  On top of that you are capped at 5GB of data usage.  Basically, if you downloaded five 1GB movies from iTunes, you have used up all of your allotted data for the month.  As I mentioned earlier, you will also have access to AT&T’s over 20,000 Wi-Fi Hot Spots.  This is much like the iPhone in regards to service.

Managing your 3G Data Plan for the iPad

You have the ability to manage your Data Plan right on the iPad.  This is a great feature.  I would like to see this ported over to the iPhone.  Below is some verbiage from AT&T’s site regarding managing your 3G Data Plan:

“Once you sign up for iPad 3G data service, you can add to or cancel your domestic plan at any time – no penalty. For domestic plans, if you do not cancel, your service will automatically renew every 30 days to provide a more seamless data experience on an ongoing basis. For example, if you activate service on May 9, your service will automatically renew 30 days later with the same plan. If you do make a change, a new 30-day window begins.”

If you are concerned about going over on your limited Data Plan, worry not, because AT&T and Apple have taken care of this as well.  AT&T explains how you can avoid going over your limit:

“With the on-device management system, you can check your data usage in Settings>Cellular Data on your iPad at anytime. Also, for the $14.99 plan, iPad will even let you know when you’re about to reach your 250 MB data limit. You’ll get three alerts — at 20 percent, 10 percent, and zero. With each alert, you can choose to add more data or wait and do it later.

If you do exceed the amount of data in your plan, your plan will expire, but it’s easy to add another one. Also, with domestic plans, you can wait until the 30th day from your purchase when your plan will automatically renew going forward.”

Now that you have a little more knowledge about the different pricing and Data Plans that are offered for the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, you can make a smarter buying decision on your chosen plan.  So, if your not in line, you better get going.  I would like to hear how you like your new iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, so leave a message in the comments section, and share your thoughts.

Photo Credit: iPad Wi-Fi+3G

Article Via AT&T’s Site

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