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Reuters reports on comments from AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson claiming that the U.S. carrier has seen about 500,000 iPad customers connect to its network. While the total number of 3G-capable iPads sold in the U.S. is unknown because Apple does not break down sales reports by model or country, at least one analyst thinks the number appears low considering Apple's overall sales of 3.27 million iPads last quarter and almost another entire quarter under the company's belt.
Pacific Crest analyst Steve Clement said this could indicate that many iPad purchasers aren't bothering to connect the device to the Internet using the AT&T network.

Since operators such as AT&T are expecting strong growth from gadgets such as tablet computers, this trend could mean the device category will represent less business than expected.

"Half a million at this point would seem low," Clement said.
While the 3G-capable iPad models carry a $130 price premium over their Wi-Fi-only counterparts, some customers may simply be finding that they do not take their iPads out of the home as often as they had originally thought, while others may simply have not planned to activate the service initially but purchased 3G-capable models anyway in order to "future proof" themselves should they find their plans at a later date. AT&T's contract-free iPad data plans allow customers to simply sign up for the service when needed.

Article Link: AT&T CEO Reports 500,000 iPads In Use on Carrier's Network
 

stagmeister

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2004
179
0
Very cool! Though I am surprised the number of iPads with 3G is so low. You'd think that the whole concept is that they are useful no matter where you go? And that might not include wi-fi?
 
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Statusnone88

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2010
1,560
801
I have my 3G turned on because... It's only 25 bucks.

And I originally bought it because I didn't want to NOT have the option of Internet whenever I wanted it.
 
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EvilEvil

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2007
1,133
1,765
New York City
Are there really that many dumb people willing to pay 30 extra bucks on top of their iphone bill just so they can use the Internet on their iPad?
 
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Robin4

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2010
355
26
RTD-NC
True in my case. I will only use 3G when I travel. At that point it becomes invaluable. It may not be AT&T if outside the country. WiFi at home.
 
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Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,313
33
I would have bought a 3G iPad for the GPS (and still tether to iPhone), but I got WiFi.
 
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AAPLaday

Guest
Aug 6, 2008
2,411
2
Manchester UK
"some customers may simply be finding that they do not take their iPads out of the home as often as they had originally thought"

Because they are too big and heavy. Cue the 7" iPad.

I Jest I Jest :p:D
 
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Jason S.

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2007
504
1
Pennsylvania
I bet there are a lot of people out there who think that buying the 3G model means internet everywhere, free. Then after they realize that, they just don't activate it.
 
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thetaylor13

macrumors regular
May 14, 2010
148
0
Work
I bet if they made the service free to AT&T customers who already pay way to much for their bills (I hate looking at my bill :( ) Then they would see a lot more.
 
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ultravioletfly

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2007
112
0
My reason for getting the 3g version was for the "future-proofing," GPS, and for using my iPhone 4 sim card in the iPad when I felt like it.
 
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mattwolfmatt

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2008
1,053
101
I have my 3G turned on because... It's only 25 bucks.

And I originally bought it because I didn't want to NOT have the option of Internet whenever I wanted it.

25 bucks . . . per month. Or $300 per year.

I have a 3G but have not turned it on; I will only do so when traveling (on a train or long car ride or something). Wi-fi is good enough for me, plus the 3G I already have on my iPhone.
 
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MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,535
1,219
Very cool! Though I am surprised the number of iPads with 3G is so low. You'd think that the whole concept is that they are useful no matter where you go? And that might not include wi-fi?

The question is, are those 500K the continuous month to month iPad 3G users or does it include the sparse users as well?

If those are just the continuous people, it makes sense for it to be low. While the 3G owners are likely twice or more that number, the number of people actively using it will be very small. Most people tend to use Wi-Fi at home and at work. Hotspots are available in coffee shops as well and many other places.
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
I’d consider getting the 3G model and then not paying the monthly plan, just to have the GPS and compass for use with AR apps, and especially for driving directions from Navigon/etc. (GPS apps that don’t rely on the Internet to get their maps). I’m not 100% sure that would work, but I know Navigon on my iphone gets me around just fine even when I disable data on my iPhone. (Not in Airplane mode though—then the GPS is disabled.)
 
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japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,296
2,712
Japan
Perhaps another million or so people tried to connect their iPad 3G to AT&T's network but failed because it's so lousy. :p
 
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notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
I bought the 3G version as a hedge, "just in case", and I now find that I use 3G daily. I don't have an iPhone so this is my only 3G device.

90% of the time I pick up my iPad, it is to do something online -- browse on Safari, check my email, Twitter, etc. The other 10% is Angry Birds :D
 
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Biff...

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2010
542
29
Sherman Oaks, CA.
Can you say "Tether". I use to be a connected ipad user, till I started using my iphone to tether to my ipad. Its an extra $15 I keep in my pocket a month. :D
 
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Sofabutt

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2007
92
17
Of course by 500,000 they mean the 500,000 people who bought a 3G iPad and discovered they needed to register it with ATT just to use the GPS functions.

There aren't 500k subscribing members on the ATT network.

I call ******** on that number.
 
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baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,657
2,135
One explanation would be: You take your iPhone with you everywhere, literally, while you wouldn't take your iPad with you everywhere. Like if you just run down to the shop to get bread, you won't take your iPad, but you would take your iPhone.

So I would think that people use their iPad at home, the same way as you would use your laptop, just more comfortably (on the bed, sofa, not necessarily at a table), so WiFi is enough.
 
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caddisfly

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
44
0
mine used to be....

until I got a mifi.....now I minimize the dataplans for all my ATT devices - iphone, ipad, etc and carry my mifi with me at all times...and thus have mifi-wifi for my additional laptops and other devices - both mine and my spouses.

not sure it quite makes sense moneywise (5GB/$60), but I get better coverage with verizon mifi than I did with ATT 3G and can do skype on it, etc
 
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normwood

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2008
670
42
In a house...duh!
I am a complete cheap-Richard so I can't comprehendo why people are willing to pay 30 extra bucks on top of their iphone bill just so they can use the Internet on their iPad?

Fixed your quote for you....

I happen to have an iPhone 4 and a 3g iPad. Both with unlimited data plans grandfathered in.....and lovin' every minute of my just about anywhere connectivity.

Steve
 
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Bwa

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2007
301
18
Boston & San Jose
Originally, I was going to buy a 3G iPad. But then the plan changed, and still no tethering (at the time) for my iPhone, so I bought a Verizon MiFi.
 
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