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Old Feb 23, 2013, 11:18 PM   #1
Doth
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iPad Mini - Should I go with AT&T or Verizon

Hello Everybody,

I believe this is my first post. I am going to be upgrading from my Original iPad to an iPad mini shortly. I do plan on getting a 64GB with Cellular.

Although I rarely use the Cellular on my current iPad, I still want to have the option of using it, especially on trips. So the dilemma starts as to which carrier I should use. On my current iPad, I use AT&T, but it is not an unlimited plan. I have three iPhones on my AT&T plan and they all have unlimited data. This means I cannot do a shared data plan without losing my grandfathered unlimited plan, so I have no allegiance to AT&T.

I live in San Jose, CA so coverage is about the same for both carriers. If the only difference is that I can use the Verizon version as a hotspot with no additional charges, it seems like that is the best carrier for me.

Am I missing anything?

Thank you in advance,
Don
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 11:28 PM   #2
wordoflife
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Not really.

I went with Verizon solely for Mobile Hotspot to a smaller extent, the $20 1GB plan. Even though you don't need to tether to your phones, you might find it useful to tether to a computer. In any case, 1GB of data is a good plan size. Not too little (250MB) or too much (3GB).

The only problem with Verizon iPads is that the SIM burns out each time you cancel, but I think that got resolved.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 11:31 PM   #3
Doth
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The only problem with Verizon iPads is that the SIM burns out each time you cancel, but I think that got resolved.
So if I use an Verizon and I only turn it on for one month and then turn it off for a few, I will need a new SIM card to reactivate it?
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 11:33 PM   #4
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So if I use an Verizon and I only turn it on for one month and then turn it off for a few, I will need a new SIM card to reactivate it?
That's the issue I read about when I bought my iPad 3 nearly a year ago. But like I said, I think I read somewhere that its no longer an issue. Can't really comment since I never tried suspending my plan.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 11:34 PM   #5
Doth
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Hmmm, that is interesting. I hope more member chime in to let me know if that is still the case.

You know, I actually just realized I have an additional question. Should I back up my current iPad then use that back up as a restore on the new iPad or should I start from scratch? I use Gmail and Google Calendars and I think I read something a while back about Gmail not working on new iOS devices with the native Mail and Calendar apps. Maybe it is my poor memory.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 11:57 PM   #6
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I have an AT&T iPhone so I got a Verizon iPad Mini. That way if I'm in a dead spot with one network I can rely on the other.

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Originally Posted by Doth View Post
Hmmm, that is interesting. I hope more member chime in to let me know if that is still the case.

You know, I actually just realized I have an additional question. Should I back up my current iPad then use that back up as a restore on the new iPad or should I start from scratch? I use Gmail and Google Calendars and I think I read something a while back about Gmail not working on new iOS devices with the native Mail and Calendar apps. Maybe it is my poor memory.
I haven't activated a Verizon plan yet, but had read about the same issue. I hope it's fixed now. If it's not I figured that I would get a new SIM as soon as I cancel to always have one ready to be activated.

I read about the Google change you lose push email (but not fetch) on new devices. They want you to use the Gmail app instead.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 12:20 AM   #7
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I read about the Google change you lose push email (but not fetch) on new devices. They want you to use the Gmail app instead.
That's no biggie, I am used to it not being pushed to my iPhone anyways. Because I use two step verification for Google, I had to actually create a Google account for email, then I log into Google Exchange for calendar. Otherwise, the two step verification would haven't worked.

You bring up a good reason to have as separate carrier for the iPad. Lots to think about.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 08:05 AM   #8
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I'm using the Verizon 1 GB $20 prepaid option and am now happy with it.

It can be "cancelled" for a period of time if you don't want it, but I believe that there is a maximum number of consecutive months (5 months?) that they will allow you before actually canceling the service.

The problem you allude to is that the software for deactivating the service is VERY confusing in terms of how it is written. Not at all obvious. It has been several months since I've used it, but it has something to do with selecting "cancel now" or "cancel later". The first time I tried it, I made the wrong selection and had to spend several hours talking to Verizon reps to get it working again.

If you search the forum for something like "deactivating Verizon prepaid data plan" you should find the answers you are looking for. It was discussed extensively here a few months ago.

Bottom line is that the plan can indeed be suspended for one or more months that you don't want it. Just be very careful to follow the correct steps when doing it.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 10:57 AM   #9
Doth
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I now have read that if I buy the Verizon model, the AT&T SIM card would work. Is that true?
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:10 AM   #10
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I now have read that if I buy the Verizon model, the AT&T SIM card would work. Is that true?
Yes, but you'll be limited to HSPA+ speeds, no LTE.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:27 PM   #11
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Thank you for your help. I thought about it and realized the hotspot ability isn't really that important to me. I do like that AT&T offers a little more data for the same price and that their coverage works for me.

I got a black 64GB AT&T model and so far I am loving the size. The lack of retina screen is a non-issue for me, the size is far more important.

Very, very happy

Don
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doth View Post
Thank you for your help. I thought about it and realized the hotspot ability isn't really that important to me. I do like that AT&T offers a little more data for the same price and that their coverage works for me.

I got a black 64GB AT&T model and so far I am loving the size. The lack of retina screen is a non-issue for me, the size is far more important.

Very, very happy

Don
Congrats! It's disconcerting how bulky the full sized iPad seems after using a Mini for a bit.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 12:20 AM   #13
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Congrats! It's disconcerting how bulky the full sized iPad seems after using a Mini for a bit.

Especially considering mine was an Original iPad!
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:51 AM   #14
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My family is with ATT. We had 3 phones with unlimited data and one with the 3G plan. On top of that we have 3 iPads. For the iPads we were paying for 3 gigs of data on two of then revelry month and on the third every 3 months (it's my husband's and he's out of the country for 3months at a time so we only activated his when he was home).

After reviewing our data usage for several months we found that we weren't utilizing the unlimited data. In fact we were actually only using a total of 2 gigs or so on on all 4 phones combined. And we were constantly having to curb the iPad usage.

So we decided to give up the unlimited phone plans and went to a shared plan with 10 gigs of data. It has worked out quite well. We still use close to the 2 gigs on our phones but now we have plenty of data for the iPads. We now use pretty much all our data (better to use it than not) and yet don't have to curb our iPad needs. Plus it is saving us close to $100/month.

I know this may not work for everyone but I urge you to look at it since you already have ATT.

Good luck.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by donnaw View Post
My family is with ATT. We had 3 phones with unlimited data and one with the 3G plan. On top of that we have 3 iPads. For the iPads we were paying for 3 gigs of data on two of then revelry month and on the third every 3 months (it's my husband's and he's out of the country for 3months at a time so we only activated his when he was home).

After reviewing our data usage for several months we found that we weren't utilizing the unlimited data. In fact we were actually only using a total of 2 gigs or so on on all 4 phones combined. And we were constantly having to curb the iPad usage.

So we decided to give up the unlimited phone plans and went to a shared plan with 10 gigs of data. It has worked out quite well. We still use close to the 2 gigs on our phones but now we have plenty of data for the iPads. We now use pretty much all our data (better to use it than not) and yet don't have to curb our iPad needs. Plus it is saving us close to $100/month.

I know this may not work for everyone but I urge you to look at it since you already have ATT.

Good luck.
If you're looking to save even more with one of these plans you can use the included iPhone hotspot to tether your iPad and drop the $10/iPad/month charge.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 11:40 AM   #16
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If you're looking to save even more with one of these plans you can use the included iPhone hotspot to tether your iPad and drop the $10/iPad/month charge.
All great suggestions. I love this forum and that you all are willing to share your experiences. I will have to look at our total data usage to determine if it makes sense to move to a shared plan, last time I looked into it, it wasn't cost effective.

Thank you again,
Don!
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 11:45 AM   #17
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I went with Verizon. The whole hotspot thing just turned out to be a bonus lol.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 03:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Doth View Post
Thank you for your help. I thought about it and realized the hotspot ability isn't really that important to me. I do like that AT&T offers a little more data for the same price and that their coverage works for me.

I got a black 64GB AT&T model and so far I am loving the size. The lack of retina screen is a non-issue for me, the size is far more important.

Very, very happy

Don
Did you get the $100 discount ATT is offering on Ipads?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doth View Post
All great suggestions. I love this forum and that you all are willing to share your experiences. I will have to look at our total data usage to determine if it makes sense to move to a shared plan, last time I looked into it, it wasn't cost effective.

Thank you again,
Don!
I did the math on my usage. My phones never went over 5GB of usage. I switched to the share plan with 10GB of usage and now I get every features for less money with low risk of needing more data.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:57 PM   #19
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I grabbed the Verizon mini today. I am a road warrior and have AT&T phone service, I figured might as well have access to two networks for an extra 10 month than it would cost to add to my share everything plan. No more browsing during lunch on edge in the boonies (thank god!) AT&T doesn't have LTE in Central Illinois where I live, so if I want to add it to my existing phone account I can and will get the HSPA+ available here.

Hopefully by the time the mini 2 comes out both networks will have LTE here and it will make my decision harder.

Needless to say, another vote for grabbing the opposite network of what you already have.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 02:04 AM   #20
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I have AT&T for my iPhone 5 and there are areas that I get poor data service. So, I opted to go with Verizon. This was a good move, cause it seems everywhere that I had issues with AT&T, the Verizon works great.

When you initially sign up it tell you that if you cancel your plan, they will keep your phone number associated with your account active for 5 months. After 5 months your account and associated phone number is deleted from their system. You will then be required to get another SIM. If you cancel and delete the account, you will immediately be required to get another SIM before activating service again. I guess they figure if you don't activate it and use it less than every 5 months, you probably won't care. I keep mine activated, because there is just nothing more convenient than having LTE access on my iPad Mini. I initially purchased a Wifi only and was going to just use the AT&T hot spot, but you have to go with a full 5GB plan which I rarely even got close to using. Plus the areas where it seems like I most needed it on my iPad Mini the data service was crap.

Happy having both now, this way regardless I always have data service.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 10:24 AM   #21
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yeah, my very first ipad was wifi only.

DUMB, lol.

and not just because of the benefit being no contract but also the built-in GPS.

Every ipad after has been cellular
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 11:54 AM   #22
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Did you get the $100 discount ATT is offering on Ipads?
What deal is that?
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:06 PM   #23
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What deal is that?
If you buy your ipad at the AT&T store and sign a two year contract to keep it activated every month on a plan they give you 100 off the price of the ipad. So the entry level mini 16gb that is 459 would be 359. It's a pretty good deal if you plan to keep it activated all the time.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 03:36 PM   #24
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If you're looking to save even more with one of these plans you can use the included iPhone hotspot to tether your iPad and drop the $10/iPad/month charge.
I know but using the hotspot drains the phone battery. For us adding the iPads for $10/month is simply easier.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 04:34 PM   #25
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I know but using the hotspot drains the phone battery. For us adding the iPads for $10/month is simply easier.
To be fair, it's $130 + 10/month.
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