3G or not 3G that is the question

Discussion in 'iPad' started by benalexe, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. benalexe macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2006
    So I am thinking of getting an ipad. I may in fact wait for 2nd generation but if I don't the question is 3g or not.

    Currently I have a macbook pro with the virgin mobile mobile adaptor. When I use it i pay $40 for the month for unlimited. They now have a mifi device so I can get that and use both my ipad, ipod and laptop all on the same wireless mifi.

    The major downside i see is the ipad's with 3g in them all have gps. I may actually wan the GPS. Also the mifi would be another device I need to charge.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. Imsuperjp macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2010
    only you can decide whether its worth $130 for 3G option and GPS.
  3. Saberon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    If you really need 3G badly, then you would have bought the 3G without question. If people are on the fence about it I always say go with Wi-Fi only, I'm glad I did
  4. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I'm in the exact same situation. I'm selling my 16GB wifi model because I realised I would really like the extra storage space, but I am stuck in the dilemma of either going with 32GB+3G, or go 64GB.

    Any advice?
  5. Peter.Howard macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2010
    You're better off to buy the 3G model and not need the 3G option than just buy the wifi model and then need the 3G option.

    I'm waiting for the specs of Ipad2 before I buy one, I already have the Iphone anyway.
  6. Macky Mac macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2010
    I have a 3G and it certainly is worth the extra money. If you have a MIFI connection then it really doesn't matter. But to be able to use your iPad almost anywhere on the road, makes this little device super cool.
  7. unixfool macrumors 6502a

    Jan 21, 2006
    Northern VA
    Depends on your plans for using your iPad.

    Simply ask yourself if you will need 3G...that should be answer enough.

    I've the wifi-only version...suits my needs pretty well.
  8. Ciclismo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    As many have said - it depends on your needs, current and future. I didn't think I would need 3G, but I did want real GPS so "splashed" out. But 2 months ago a really cheap offer for PAYG 3G became available and I couldn't do without anymore. It will also come in handy when we will be without internet when we move next month.
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Personally, the WiFi was a better option for me, so that's what I got (I don't want to use GPS on the iPad and I have a MiFi that I use for data access when out and about)
    The MiFi has several benefits for my use: I can use it to make FaceTime calls from my iPhone, it provides internet access in the car for my Daughter's iPod touch and also provides a hotspot for my Eye-Fi card. The disadvantages are that it's an extra device and the battery only lasts about 5 hours between charges.
    If you only need to access the internet from the iPad and you'll be out and about a lot then the 3G iPad may make sense for you.
    Ultimately, there isn't a simple answer to this question: It depends on what you want to do with it!
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I originally bought the WiFi then sold it when the 3G came out. It was very much an impulse move. The key seller for me was the no-contract unlimited service for $30. Of course that is gone now. But in the 5 months I've had the 3G I've used it in Airports a total of 4 hours. I really have not had occasion to use the 3G anywhere else. YMMV, and probably will, so you should consider how you will realistically use your iPad.

    A few months ago I bought a Clear iSpot when they were on sale for $25 + a month's service. I live in an area service by Clear 4G and most of the places I travel also have it so when the 2nd gen iPad comes out I'll likely go back to the WiFi version and use the iSpot when I travel. It's $29/unlimited and most importantly, no contract, so I can use it only when I need.

    Bottom line: The 3G lost some of its allure when the unlimited service went away. Realistically, I probably won't use 5GB of data in a month, but I don't want to have to keep my eye on the meter counter.

    Also, given that it's mid-Nov and we are likely to see the next version in March or so I'd probably hold off buying. I have a feeling it's going to be worth the wait. The iPad has some catching up to do w/ the iPhone and Touch.
  11. numbertwelve macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2009
    I was on the fence, but come down on a different side to Saberon above - I bought the 3G and I'm very glad I did.

    If you think you can definitely get by without 3G (so, essentially, everywhere you use your iPad you're going to have a Wifi hotspot), I wouldn't shell out any extra (unless you're really interested in resale value).

    But if there's a chance you're going to need the 3G, definitely get it. You will be far too frustrated if you buy an iPad that doesn't have the capability and then you need to use it in the future.
  12. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I would get the 3G even if you don't plan on using it much or at all. Its an optional service to use and yes you pay an extra $130 for the device, but the reason I say get the 3G is it will boost the resale value of it when/if you decide to sell it for a newer model. If you don't plan on ever selling it then maybe the WiFi version is all you need.
  13. cscheat, Nov 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2010

    cscheat macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2010
    i end up selling my 16GB Wifi and bought a 32GB 3G.... no regrets now
  14. Mr Baldman macrumors member

    Mr Baldman

    Jul 7, 2008
    Nottingham UK
    I had to make this decision a month or so ago, and ended up going WiFi only.

    my point being that i already had an iPhone 4, so having 2 mobile internet devices was just plain greedy and would mean more to spend each month.

    not regretted it (yet).
  15. MacMau5 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2010
    I had the same problem. I got mines used and paid 560 which is the price of a new wifi model. Have I used the 3G? No, but I really want to, just need to work on my finances first and have used my schools wifi which is incredibly fast, and I'm on the fence about picking up a 3GS or 4 and dropping this guy.

    All in all pick up the 3G. You can always sell it for a small loss, depending on buying it new or used.
  16. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    FYI - if you're willing to jailbreak your iPad, the MiWi app does a brilliant job of turning your 3G iPad into a MiFi hotspot for your other devices (and your family and friends devices). Even running MiWi, the iPad will probably give you much better battery life than most portable MiFi devices.
  17. papa8706 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2010
    This is a good point. Personally, I purchased the 32gb 3G version for the extra $130 just so I had the option. Since april I have really only used it a few times. I tend to use the iphone 4 as my mobile device more than the iPad. If you think you want to use this as a truly mobile device then I'd say go for it.

    On the other hand, since Verizon recently started selling the ipad you can also consider their MiFi external device as an alternative although pricing can get steep if you buy the MiFi after the initial iPad purchase.
  18. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    If you want one device to rule them all, get the 3G model. If you're already carrying an iPhone, get the WiFi model and use tethering. Or get the WiFI model and get a MiFi, which you can use with computers, an iPad, iPod touch, etc.
  19. thefreeagent macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2010
    New Mexico
    Just Do It

    Is my suggestion. You pay a bit extra at the outset, but then have the option to use it when you need it. I don't regret getting the WiFi+3G back at launch, at all. Plus, you get GPS, and all of the freedom of a true mobile communication center. Just my $0.02 worth....
  20. Knot ewe macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2009
    I have the 16G wifi and don't have any regrets, but when I went on a road trip/vacation the GPS would have been a nice feature and I wished I had it. When I bought it my thought was, $130 plus data service for 3G was too much for that feature, but the GPS never really dawned on me until the trip. Then my thought was $130 is a reasonable price for a GPS plus I could activate 3G in a pinch. When ipad2 comes out i will most likely get a 32G 3G, more memory for storing onboard maps is a must IMO.
  21. iSingandiDance macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    3G no doubt.

    You never have to turn it on, but just having the option is worth it. I struggled with wifi or 3G as well, but chose the latter because of the caveat of Internet just about anywhere.
  22. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    I don't know anyone who regretted buying the 3G.
  23. Squadleader macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Avalon Hill
    Its not just 130.00 more...Its ATT&T or Verizon(??) sucking your wallet dry FOREVER...You have to go to the ends of the earth not to get Wi-Fi anymore...I had it and found I hardly used the 3G and canceled my unlimited plan...(No longer available)
  24. mattniles007 macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2005
    Many people have already said this, but if you have the 3G and do not need it you will be better off than buying the wifi and needing the 3G. Having said that I have had 64GB WiFi and never needed 3G (yet).
  25. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    Or conversely...If you already have an iPhone 4, consider getting an iPad 3G. Since they both use a micro-SIM card when you need 3G on your iPad you can always swap SIM cards and use your iPhone's 3G plan.

    It's a bit cumbersome swapping SIM cards, and you won't be able to receive voice calls while the iPhone's SIM is in the iPad (unless it's a VOIP call), but for the times you really need internet access on the iPad and there's no Wifi available it's a nice option to have.

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