3G vs No 3G - A discussion

Discussion in 'iPad' started by i0Nic, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey guys,

    What are your thoughts on this situation? Obviously you can tether an iPad to your phone to avoid further data costs, but is this too much of an inconvenience? What if you use your iPad on public transit a lot or out and about, is 3G worth it?

    I'm asking this because I have an iPad 3 with 3G already and thinking about picking up a mini as well. The 3G option is significantly more expensive for this smaller device, not to mention the added data costs on top of the data I pay for the iPad 3 and the iPhone.

    It seems silly to get yet another device with a 3G data plan.

    But now I'm thinking that perhaps it makes more sense to have a wifi only iPad 9.7 and a 3G iPad mini, as it's the more portable device.

    As I'm pondering this situation, I'd love to get your thoughts.
  2. Ladybug macrumors 65816


    Apr 13, 2006
    If it is something you will use a lot and you don't want to hassle with tethering, then buy the cellular model. You can always not use it if you find you don't need it, but you can't add it later. I personally only buy the wifi models and have never had a problem because of the locations I go to already having wifi or I just read ebooks on it. Only you know how important being always connected is to you.
  3. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    I really want the Cellular model, and I keep having this discussion with my friends and they bring up the same points that I do, I don't need it.

    I get WiFi at all of their house's, I get wifi at work and I get WiFi at most public places that I visit, and for those rare moments when I am out and about and need a cellular connection and don't have one, I got my iPhone for that.

    I don't really need it, but I have told myself this before
    I had the WiFi iPad and WiFi iPad 2 and was always ok, but because I feel that the iPad mini will be more portable, i feel like I want to have this option.
  4. felch macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2010
    I have a 16gb iPad2 with 3g and have never activated the 3g. I really wish I had gotten the 32gb wifi model instead. Now Im getting a 32gb wifi iPad4.
  5. iHeartsteve macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2012
    this was my same question??? If I had known the mini was coming out, I would have only gotten wifi Ipad3 and def cellular service on the mini.

    I'd say, if you can afford it, get the 4g/3g on the mini. The times I have used the cellular service on my ipad, I greatly appreciated it. I do wish the phone carriers would let us share plans with in tablet devices. They eventually did that with cell phones. tablets are so common now.
  6. N0ddie macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2011
    Our next iPad won't have 3G capabilities. Our current 64Gb iPad 2 has Wifi and 3G however, now with tethering included in our iPhone 5 deals it seems a massive waste of initial outlay when buying the thing and the monthly cost of sticking a sim in it.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm on verizon and so I have free hotspots, I see little reason to pay a monthly 4g dataplan for the iPad when I can access the net by way of wifi from many places and no wifi exists then I switch no the hotspot on my iPhone 5
  8. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    You can with Verizon - $10/mo to add a tablet to your share plan.


    Phone battery life is the only reason for adding a plan to the tablet instead. Depending on how long you'll be without access to power, you might drain your phone (only a few hours).
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I dont do this too often, but its an option
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I think it also has to do with usage patterns. I have a Nexus 7 and I never take it with me when I'm out. I just find the steps of turning on my phone hotspot and connecting to it inconvenient. It is easy as pie, I'm just spoiled with my iPad 3G.
  11. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    I had iPad 1 32gb with ATT 3G (used data plan one month) so a waste of the extra $130 for the 3G version.

    iPad 2 64GB wifi only. Very happy

    iPad 3 64Gb Verizon LTE. Use data every month. Use between 2GB-10GB each month. LTE makes a world of difference especially when I use my unlimited LTE microsim from my verizon phone in the LTE iPad. (I never use the phone number anymore so it's no big deal).

    So I go back and forth about getting the mini with data or not. I ordered the wifi version cause didn't want to spend more than the bare minimum $329 cause I pretty much assume apple will release an updated mini in 6-8 months anyways.
  12. shenan1982 macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011
    Can we first stop saying 3G? It's legitimately 4G now, or better yet, "cellular" as Apple has gone with....

    Here's a marvel concept... but the WiFi model... and use it for the next 2 weeks. If you feel like you can't live without cellular access after that time, upgrade to the cellular model, simple as that. Apple will let you exchange it within 14 days of delivery (November 16th for those of us who preordered and are getting the mini on the 2nd). By that point it's expected that Apple will have or will shortly have the cellular models available.

    But, if you're on a mobile share plan, it's a balance you need to weigh...

    $150 more up front plus $10 / mo x 24 months = $390

    For $390 you can get a second iPad Mini, or have $390 in your pocket for the next model that comes out. Personally I'd like the cellular model, but I know in reality the only thing I'd really use it for is data when I can't find a hotspot, and that never will happen because I keep a hotspot in my pocket at all times (my iPhone 5, hehe). So yeah... for those on mobile share, no brainer, for those not on family share, you do have a legitimate decision. Tho at the point where you're spending $30 a month on the iPad plan, maybe look at the mobile share, it might come out cheaper. I have 3 friends on mine, so it comes out much cheaper for all of us after discount.


    For most it would be a waste, but there is one niche where it makes sense and is the only reason I'm up in the air. When I travel internationally, and I go abroad a lot, I always buy local sims. Most places offer unlimited data for a couple bucks a day, so iPad would be my preferred device for travel. Not only would it eliminate the need for me to carry my phone, but it'd serve as a hotspot for sharing that sim's data with my laptop.
  13. iHeartsteve macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2012
    Nice! I didn't know that. I'm so going to get the mini now, once they come out the stupid retina display.
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Tethering doesn't drain my phone battery very much, so I constantly have it on when I'm in the car and share it with everyone else. Even buying battery packs would be cheaper than getting an extra data plan and the LTE iPad.
  15. Baggio macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    I have 2 iPhones and and iPad 1 on my 10 GB share everything plan on AT&T.

    I get unlimited minutes and text/MMS messages.
    10 GB data

    Plan is $120 + 60 ($30 for each phone) + $10 for the iPad 3G.
  16. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Leaving it on doesn't drain the battery as it doesn't broadcast when not in use. It is when it is being used actively that it drains the battery. 2-3 hours of constant use kills my iPhone 5.
  17. steve dave macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2010
    This is exactly my situation. If I paid for separate data for all of my connected devices I would be broke. Hotspot works for me.
  18. ccwestcliff, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012

    ccwestcliff macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    Hi had 3G iPads for the last two years (iPad 1 and 2) and wouldn't like to miss it! It is true that free wifi is available in many places but having 3G built in and a cheap pay as you go plan is waaaay more convenient (esp given that for many free wifi's you either need to sign up or in etc)

    I recently ordered a refurbished iPad 3 and this will have cellular (as it is called now) as well.

    But I guess it depends on your usage; if you only use it at home or at work where you have wifi, you might not need it.

    I take my iPad with me when I travel as well and have pay as you go SIM for various countries - love it!
  19. scorpio1973 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2009
    I had a 16GB wifi + 3G iPad 2 and now a 32GB wifi + cellular iPad 3.The biggest reason for me is that I am not always near wifi, so having a connection was important to me. I didn't want to use my iPhone 4S as a hotspot because that required me to lose my unlimited data with AT&T. So, getting the cellular model just made sense to me.
  20. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    ATT quoted me $50/mo to make my iphone tether...I'll stay with LTE at 15/mo
  21. steve dave macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2010
    That $50 is the $30 you already pay for smartphone data and $20 for an extra 2 GB of data and the ability to tether. So it is really only $5 more than the ipad plan and you get more data and the ability to share it several devices...
  22. 0dev macrumors 68040


    Dec 22, 2009
    I find it far easier to tether, that way I can use the unlimited data from my phone at no extra cost on not only my iPad but other devices too.

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