iPad mini Cellular or wifi only

Discussion in 'iPad' started by twdi, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. twdi macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2012
    I probable going to buy a ipad mini retina this weekend. I really like it.

    but.... do I need a wifi only or buy the 120 euro more expensive Cellular version. I have a smartphone with 1 gb data a month so I don't expect to use the mini 'on the road but the idea of having gps.......

    Could I use the gps device from my (android..... kuch kuch) s4?

    Did you regret not to buy the cellular version? (Or could i in the future?)
  2. Fireball Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Fireball Dragon

    Nov 26, 2012
    Chigwell, England
    Depends on your budget. If you think you may need cellular in the future, get it.
  3. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    Stretch, if need be, for a cellular. The few times you will need it you will certainly then wish you had it.
  4. Ludatyk macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2012
    I have a cellular iPad Air.

    I've been getting iPad cellular models since the iPad 2, I use it as my primary device... With Having Google Voice & Skype for voice purposes. But most of my family & friends have iDevices.. So with iMessage and the introduction of FaceTime Audio has made it a pleasure to have a cellular iPad.
  5. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    Yeah, that kind of sums it up. It's one of things that sucks worse to not have it than to spend the extra money upfront. I got cell support this time instead of more storage space and am happy with my decision.

    Unless someone is certain they'll always be in a wifi environment and won't ever travel with the iPad then wifi only is fine. Otherwise, get the cell support.
  6. Angler macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    Get the cellular. Its a mobile device it should come with it.
  7. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    I'm thinking about getting an retina mini also and I've got the same question. I have an iPhone 5 with tethering so I can just connect my new iPad to that to get online, but will I be missing out on any other features or functionality without having the LTE built in to the iPad?

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, this will be my first tablet.
  8. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Dec 26, 2009
    I got WiFi rMini, not cellular, for 5 reasons:

    1. Savings of $130+tax. These days, that's a LOT of money, in gadget terms at least. My Dell Venue 8 Pro, a real Windows 8.1 computer in the palm of my hand, with Office included, and Nokia 520 NO F CONTRACT phone, cost me together $158.

    2. "Keep Apple hungry, keep Apple foolish" philosophy. Apple makes tons of money even on bare-bone models, but all these $130 cellular, $100, $200, $300 RAM upgrades are like giant diamond hail falling from the sky. As a result, Apple gets more and more fat and ignorant. This is my little contribution to making Apple healthy and human again.

    3. I already have a 5GB/month tethering plan on my iPhone, which I use constantly with my other devices. A separate data plan for iPad will be just another sinkhole for money and another thing to keep track of and worry about. Keep it simple - all my data usage comes out of the same plan.

    4. I already have a couple of very good Bluetooth GPS devices with 5-10hz update frequency that are far better than Apple's lame GPS. I rarely find myself in a situation where WiFi-based positioning is not available. If I need to drive with iPad, I simply use one of the GPS which I keep in the car.

    5. Better battery life. With built-in GPS, you better make sure to shut down any applications that may use it in background even if you don't need it anymore, or else they will seep energy.

    5 and a half. That plastic cover looks fugly, especially on silver model. Looks like something from a 99cent store.

    That's all. :rolleyes:
  9. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    Lame reasons. Wifi only iPad is useless without GPS. Unless it never leaves the house.
  10. robopath macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    I got the cellular for the following reasons.
    -It's an unlocked global LTE device for $130. For me at least, when traveling overseas data is everything.
    -you will crush the battery on your tethering device (iPhone, etc), even on Bluetooth. More if using wifi, expect about half the battery on wifi.
    -GPS! It makes an incredible in car gps. Get an on-board gps app like tom tom and forgo the 1200 nav system. No tethering, works anywhere with no data used or needed.
    -if you have a mobile share plan, you can add it as standalone device for $10 a month.
  11. kycophpd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2009
    Louisville, Kentucky
    I actually got the cellular version mainly for the GPS. Nothing like having a 9.7" GPS to use! For the $130, its cheaper than a lot of GPS units you can buy and an all in one solution.
  12. SomeGuyDude macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2011
    All five reasons were excellent. I have yet to be in a situation where I absolutely need cellular service on my iPad. If I'm out with it and need to do something with data but there's no wifi available... I tether it off my phone.
  13. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    This is a testament to how not everyone has the same needs, and so one model of iPad (or tablet or computer, for that matter) is perfect for everyone.

    The OP needs to consider their use case for the iPad. If it's never going to leave the house or office, or any other place with Wifi, then it's clear: get the Wifi version. If you're likely to do a lot of traveling with it, then having cellular data affords some real flexibility that adds to its usefulness.

    For the last two models of iPad, I had the Wifi only version, and tethered it to my iPhone when I needed to. A lot of traveling and a hurricane (and thus limited internet connectivity and unreliable cell service at home for a week) later, and I realized that there are real benefits in my use case, for having the choice of going with cellular data. Especially since with the current models, I can pop in any SIM I like, even from a carrier different from the one that I use for my iPhone. So, I went cellular with the Air, and love it.
  14. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    Try leaving the lounge :)
  15. SomeGuyDude macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2011
    I go out with it periodically, but thus far haven't found myself in any positions where I couldn't tether off my phone.

    What I'm getting at (like the above poster said) is that it's down to personal needs. I really do not see the need in adding money to my data plan when it's shared data anyway, meaning it's the same ten gigs a month and I'm not really gaining anything by having it receive data on its own versus a tether.

    Really the only benefit I see would be the lack of battery drain from my phone, but if that's a concern and I'm in a spot where I'm going to be away from a power source for a while and need to do something with data I could probably just use the phone itself.

    Yeah it's undoubtedly more convenient, but I'm curious how many people are putting theirs on data plans because they NEED it, versus because they have the available capital and enjoy the convenience.
  16. rajpatel macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2013
    Maybe only idiots need gps and wifi only iPads are a thing of beauty as much as the lamebrain-equipped version.
  17. Jasonkrick macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2013
    I have yet to find myself in a situation where I can not tether off my phone. I have unlimited data and use about 12 gig of data a month. The majority of it from iPad tethering.

    Also, it is pretty rare to not be in a place where there is no wifi hot spots. Heck, even my favorite burger joint has a hot spot.

    The only reason, in my situation, for a cellular iPad is convenience. The times where I need a quick data connection for my iPad (never in real life) would be slowed by needing to turn on the hot spot on my phone on a wifi only iPad.
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    No, I was the opposite with my prior iPad and regretted the wifi model. With the rMini I was going to get the LTE version and I've very happy. Its so much more useful as I have internet access everywhere I go. I'm no longer bound by wifi hotspots.

    I tried using my iPhone with tethering but that killed my battery.
  19. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    Unless you absolutely can not save up the $130 extra for the cellular model I would not recommend buying the wi-fi only version.

    The cellular connection provides tons of extra flexibility. Believe me, you will eventually want it.

    As others have pointed out, the GPS capability alone is worth $130. I use the GPS function a lot, both in the car and when hiking, etc.

    I'm cheaper than most people about avoiding long-term monthly data contracts - I do not own a smart phone, for example. But the cellular data options on the iPads do not fall into that category. You can just purchase as much data as you want on a month-to-month basis. And the rates are reasonable. $20 a month will give you as much data as most people would need. And your cost is $0 for the months you don't want/need any data.

    Finally, the resale model of a cellular model will be higher, recouping some of the $130.
  20. rajpatel macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2013
    I wouldn't say the others "pointed out" your claim about the lte version bein better. They merely share your opinion. I think gps is stupid, always have. And I used to drive coast to coast when in grad school many yrs ago, so it's not from lack of travel. Just because you and a few others here think gps is nice, doesn't mean everyone does. And I think using gps while hiking is lame, cowardly, defeats the purpose. Although I applaud it as a life saving device if it actually got some doofus safely off a mountain. Just because they are there does not mean u supposed to climb them
  21. mantan macrumors 68000

    Nov 2, 2009
    Agree. Individual users have different needs and expectations. I have no problems tethering event need it. But I know my wife would consider tethering a major PITA. I bought her a cellular model just to avoid the headache. My teenage daughter saved to buy her device- she opted for wifi because it was cheaper and she doesn't mind tethering.
  22. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Without cellular means no map/GPS app. Is that what you want? No? :apple:
  23. mpantone, Dec 28, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    I've always purchased the cellular models as they also have the GPS chip. Even if you don't have a wireless connection (WiFi nor cellular data), apps with built-in (locally cached) maps work (e.g., Navigon, CoPilot Premium, TomTom, NavFree GPS, CityMaps2Go) with GPS.

    T-Mobile USA makes the cellular models more appealing with their 200MB of free cellular data per month. The entry level AT&T pre-paid iPad data plan is $15 for 250MB, so T-Mobile's free 200MB has an comparable value of $12.

    My cellular iPad cellular data usage has been quite modest over the years, even with 200MB free, I used less than 50MB last month. Tethering is a nuisance plus it speeds up the battery drain on the smartphone.

    Much of my iPad cellular data usage has come when I've been traveling and WiFi access is not reliable nor readily available. Heck, a lot of airports don't have free WiFi. At home or work, WiFi is plentiful, reliable, and secure.
  24. derbyshire2013 macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2013
    East Midlands
    I've gone for the iPad Mini w/Retina WiFi + Cellular version.

    Sure it's £100 more BUT where I work Vodafone only have GPRS for mobile data and it's painfully slow!

    So I've invested in an iPad Mini so I can find a telco with a faster connection.

    At the end of the day it depends if you'll find a use for cellular data if you are unlikely to use it "on the road."
  25. docal97 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    Agreed. I got the cellular model mainly because of the Tmobile deal of free 200 mb/mo. I do not use much cellular data to begin with(I'm mostly in a WIFI environment), but the option to use cellular if I need it was very appealing. Plus, AT&T does not offer a tethering option for their grandfathered unlimited customers, only for their shared data plans. So that was never an option for me. But that's a topic for another thread.

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