iPad mini Buy a Cellular iPad Mini or change unlimited data plan?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Mikhailov, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    I have found myself this past month needing to use my WiFi iPad 3 where no WiFi has been available. I will soon be in that situation again. I want to solve this immediately, so I am looking to do one of two things:

    1: Sell the iPad and get a 3G iPad mini. I don't have the money for a gen 4 Cellular iPad, but can switch to a mini for the same price. I'm less apt to do this because I like the size and retina display of the 3. My iPhone 5 and MacBook are also retina.

    2: Change my AT&T data plan from grandfathered unlimited to 4GB shared. My wife and I use less than 2GB a month, but I would never be able to get this back. Bill would be $10 less a month.

    What do you think I should do?
  2. macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2010
    Honestly try out the iPad mini for a significant amount of time whether in store or by ordering and testing. I love the size weight convenience but hate the non retina screen. Overall I still like it better than the full sized iPad. You may too. But if you don't.. I wouldn't sell your iPad 3 just yet without trying mini. And I'd hate To give up an unlimited plan.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2011
    AT&T "unlimited data" is now throttled at 3gb, and is even capped for LTE.

  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    Do you think I would be better served changing my data plan then?
  5. Awakener, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2011
    Not much difference unless you want to use Facetime over cellular (AT&T doesn't allow customers in unlimited data plan to use Facetime over the network). Not sure if switching would solve your issue. Check with AT&T to see if they would force you to pay for tethering.
  6. macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    If you decide to switch your data plan, know that you can actually sell your unlimited data plan for a hefty sum still.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2011
    barkomatic, how does that work?
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    Checked with them. I would switch my wife and I to a 4GB shared plan which would enable wifi hotspot and FaceTime over 3G.
  9. macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    I finally switched from my unlimited data to 5gig with tethering. The way I looked at it was that AT&T was going to throttle you back after 5gig anyway so what's the point of "unlimited" data if its capped?? This way I can tether LTE to my iPad without having to wait for a JB and not worry about it... If I go over its $10 for each gig opposed to getting throttled back. Yeah they (att) won but my data plan is now more usable for my needs.
  10. macrumors 68030


    Jun 28, 2007
    Oooh, tough call. Personally, I'd never voluntarily give up my unlimited data plan. You're right. Once it's gone, it's gone.
  11. Guest

    Mar 13, 2009
    The only reason to keep an unlimited plan is if you're actually making use of it.

    Otherwise you're spending a lot more to use a normal amount.

    Personally, I get by with 1GB/month. I switched from unlimited to a shared plan, and while I'd prefer unlimited, the new plan is not only significantly less money a month, but I get more usability out of it with tethering and facetime on 3G.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2004
    I am getting a refurb iPad 3 wifi only. My iPhone 4 can be used as a hotspot. I am going to try using it when no wifi is available. It will not cost me additional money to do it. If it works decently I will be thrilled.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2011
    Given that I'd probably switch.
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    This is how I feel too. I'm paying the money for the data plan anyway. Thinking I'm definitely gonna go the "switch to hotspot" route. It will save me money in the end as long as we don't go over the 4GB (which we won't).

    However I have to admit, I LOVED playing with the iPad mini in the store. The display was definitely a very noticeable step down from my iPad 3, especially for watching video, but the one handed operation and uberlightness of it were really really damn freaking cool. I even used the split keyboard and it still felt comfortable. If only it was retina...
  15. macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Actually, I believe you are mistaken. That article refers to phone plans and not to data plans tied to At&t. I have the unlimited data plan with At&t and never have been throttled. Last month hit 7gb with no slow down on LTE. I plan on transferring my plan when my new iPad Mini arrives later this month. :)
  16. macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    Right now I'm at 6.5 gb 21 days in and I haven't been throttled. Last month I was throttled at 7gbs but it was like having 3G. So it wasn't that bad.


    Ever since I got the lte on this iPhone. I have consistently been going over 5gb and I'm trying to be conservative. I have 16gb iPhone so a lot is on the cloud maybe that's why.

    Dunno 30 bucks and not have to worry? Seems like a great deal. I don't think att is worried too much anymore since the number of unlimited users probably has significantly decreased.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2009
    Central, Louisiana
    I would certainly go check out the iPad mini before you sell you iPad 3. I am on the road a lot with family at home. I was fortunate and did sell my iPad 3 and got most of my money back. I purchased a iPad mini and I am a bit disappointed with the display resolution, but the device overall quickly became a keeper for me. I love it, it works great in my car via the audio system and it light and thin for taken with me on the road. Once I used it awhile the display became less of any issue. I think the initial shock of basically down grading is tough.

    I also went through the should I get a cellular iPad last year. I opted not too because previously I had and rarely used it. This was prior to all these new shared plans. What I opted to do is give up my unlimited AT&T for a 5GB plan that allowed for hot spots. This has worked great for me when I need Internet on my iPad. The throttling also became an issue occasionally on the unlimited. Though I only went a little over the 3GB at which point throttling starts a few times.

    I think you have to weigh it out. It's only me on my plan so I am still on an older plan which is not shared, but its cheaper. For me to do a shared plan would cost me about $20 a month more and then $10 to add the tablet.

    Good luck!
  18. macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2004
    It made the most sense for me to get a wifi only model and to use my phone as a hotspot. My partner and I have had the phones for about a year. We average .5 gb combined a month therefore 2 GB works for us. Getting a cellular version of the Ipad would have just been a waste of money for us. Most places I go to have wifi and if they don't my phone can provide all that I need.

    Waiting for the Ipad to be delivered reminds me of being a child at Christmas time.
  19. macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Determine the highest of your priorities and decide based on that. Seems like it's down to keeping unlimited or keeping the full size iPad. Which is more important to you? I dropped unlimited but unlimited wasn't a priority for me. YMMV.
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    I ultimately decided to switch myself and my wife to a 4GB shared plan. It dropped my bill by $10 a month, and enabled hotspot. If we go over (which I don't imagine will happen), we pay a little extra that month. No big. Otherwise we save.

    However, I spoke to my wife later that day, and she HATES her Nook Color. She said it's a great device, but the battery dies like nothing. We're now thinking of selling the Nook and my iPad 3 and getting 2 minis with the money. I'm not sure I want to lose the Retina, but I do likes me that portable size. Might be worth the sacrifice for a year or 6 months until the retina version comes out. Plus it'll make my wife happy. Happy wives are good things indeed.
  21. macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2009
    You save $10/mo and let something much more valuable expire

    Could have transferred billing responsibility to someone who would have loved unlimited and paid more for it. Instead you let it evaporate into thin air.


    AT&T is happy
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    How would I have even done that? That doesn't sound legit to me.
  23. macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2007
    Sell your unlimited grandfathered AT&T data plan. You will make tons of money on it.
  24. macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    Wow first time I heard an unlimited data plan can be sold..... Is this true?
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    Whether it's true or not, I wouldn't have done it. I wouldn't have felt comfortable. Sorry if that made people angry.

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