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macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
I'm wondering if I should get a WiFi only iPad since I don't want to have to pay for two 4G data plans and can easily tether from my 4G phone for the 50-100 MB/month I might need on the iPad while away from home.

What are people's thoughts? I'm getting a sense that most people on this forum have a 4G enabled iPad, and wonder if it's a wise decision to get a wifi only one, also for resale reasons.

Also, do you guys have a sense as to whether combined data plans might be available in the future, so that I could pay once for a chunk of data for both my phone and tablet? In that case buying the 4G now would certainly be a wiser choice, however I don't like wasting money.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2011
CA Central Coast
I have a 32 GB wifi only iPad 2. Most of the time I use it, I'm at home with my wifi network active. I do take it to the gym (no wifi available) each morning where I read iBooks or iMagazines (however, iMags sometimes have to have wifi connection to download every read - PITA).

On the rare occasions I travel, I opt for the mobile hotspot (on Vz) and it works better than the wifi!! Super fast and connects with one touch after you tether. Saves a ton of money and, so far, has been well worthwhile. :)

EDIT: It's my understanding something called "shared data" plans will be instituted shortly for Vz customers using 4G, which will be mandated for all new phones. Exactly what "shared data" will mean - or cost - is still unknown (for this area, anyway). I've seen some signs about it on Vz stores in other (bigger) cities but I haven't figured out the specifics as yet.

Dangerous Theory

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2011
I very much doubt the majority of users here have the cellular version. its a great addition if you want to be able to just pick up and get on the internet like you do your phone, but it's hardly necessary.


macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2011
I have wifi+3g but that's mainly cuz I don't have another smartphone to tether off of.

If I had, I'd likely just get the wifi version. But it is a matter of how much you're willing to pay for convenience.


macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2006
I have ATT with unlimited data and I tethered my ipad to my iphone. It's fine, and I actually haven't used the tethering that often. I don't miss the data plan at all.


macrumors newbie
May 28, 2012
I have a "4g" enabled iPad and an iPhone 4 w/o unlimited data or tethering. I was in the same boat as you and almost got the wifi only version but decided against it at the last minute. I opted for the "4g" version since you don't need to activate cellular data. You can use that function on a "month-to-month" basis. I just like having the option of cellular data if I should require it.


macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
I got an AT&T LTE iPad and am happy with it. When I don't want a data plan then I don't pay for one that month--pretty simple. On the 1 or 2 months out of the year when I take my iPad out of wifi range its great to have. Some hotels charge $15 or more to use their lousy wifi and I've been to a few airports without free wifi access.


macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
Depends on your needs.

iPad 1 I got the 32 gb 3G version. Used the 3G one month and that was all. So 3G was a waste of money for me.

iPad 2. Got the 64 gb wifi only. Loved it. I used it only in wifi areas anyways.

iPad 3(new iPad). I went for the 64gb Verizon LTE iPad. I have a 23 month and went we eat out. He loved PBS kids. Keeps him entertained along with other iPad kids apps that require data.

I have unlimited Verizon LTE data (verizon does not care if u sim swap LTE devices). So I have my LTE sim from my phone in the iPad exclusively. I have AT&T iPhone 4s as my main lines anyways and Verizon service as my backup.

So I knew I would use Verizon LTE iPad to the max. That's why I got it. Plus you can use it as unlimited hotspot also. It's been beneficial to use the hotspot for free with Verizon. My kid blew through 2 gb data over the weekend at the hotel. Crazy.


macrumors regular
May 3, 2010
I had same dilemma and went for wifi only iPad 32 GB.

It really depends how you intend on using it. I have an iPhone and data plan which I can use to tether and am heading for Europe where no 4G standard is compatible, so no special reason to have 4G.

My dad hesitated and in the end got the wifi only also.


macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
Portland, OR
We have both a cellular version and wifi version, and have never even turned the 3G on. It's really easy to get wifi out and about. Now, if you could just buy 3gb and have it until its used up no matter the time period, I'd be all over that.


macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2012
wifi only represent!

it really depends on your use scenario. are you the type that likes to go to the park or coffee place to read? if the places that you frequent with your iPad has wifi access then wifi only should be all you need.

besides, you have your phone if you really really need to check something on the internet urgently in a non-wifi area :)


macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2012
People tend to forget that the 4G versions also contain a GPS chip. A lot of apps these days are location aware, and that functionality is often pretty cool depending on what you're doing.

So in addition to the turn-on-and-surf convenience, the GPS chip is a pretty big reason for me.


macrumors member
Mar 21, 2011
Reading from an original 16gb AT&T iPad since they first came out. I have no clue if the 3G even works on it - have never used it. It just happened to be the only model they got in stock while we were on vacation (had to go to Best Buy to buy cables for my daughters movies to get them off the computer and on to the tv-walked out with this and cables-returned the cables the next day). I also have a touchpad, it makes a nice clock while sitting on the stand.

Just realized it is a 32gb
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macrumors member
Feb 14, 2012
San Francisco Bay Area
I have iPad 1 and iPad 3 and both are Wi-Fi only. I have thought about selling the iPad3 and getting the 4g version, but could only think of a few times that I would use the 4g connection, so it doesn't seem worth the money for the data plan. I'm going to look into the Verizon mobile hot spot and see how that shakes out moneywise.


macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2012
Lakeland Fl
I love my wifi only. I've owned a number of Android WebOS and Apple tabs and none were Radio enabled. Whenever I need data I tether. But it's rare, I see my Android phone as my mobile and out of the house device whereas my iPad is my home laptop replacement, I take it out but usually to a location with wifi.

I don't miss it much

Not to mention for the price factor I'd rather get a larger wifi only version. Also all the location aware apps scare me a bit. I have most apps blocked except weather and maps. I don't need Facebook or Twitter knowing when I'm not home, just a personal preference.


macrumors 6502
Apr 27, 2012
Wifi iPad 2 here. It's virtually replaced my MacBook pro, except when i want to stream sports and UFC.


macrumors member
May 31, 2012
Wifi Ipad2 here, and wish I had gotten the 3G version. Out here in Wyoming, WiFi isn't the easiest to get, and most you pick up are secured, so I have to use the comparatively tiny screen on my iPhone off the cell signal. I don't have the personal hotspot enabled, and don't really see myself jailbreaking it to get that feature.

So the iPad basically sits now, and is only used (rarely) at home.


macrumors 68020
Feb 26, 2012
Michigan/Ohio, USA
Both iPads I've owned (my current 3rd gen and my old 1st gen) are/were wifi only. I don't see the need for a data plan on those. I have an iPhone for those times when I'm in between wifi connections.


macrumors member
Mar 28, 2012
I have a 32 gb wi-fi only iPad 3. I only really use it at home or at the cafe (which has free wi-fi). So far I have not needed a data plan.

You need to decide how and where you will be using your iPad. If you are on the road a lot or won't be having a lot of wi-fi coverage then the 4G may be for you. If you are mainly going to be using it where you have wi-fi readily available then you don't need the 4G version.


macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
WiFi only here, but I didn't have a choice as that's what the company would provide. Honestly though, I'm not going to use it while driving and when I'm not driving and would want to use the device I'm in an area with WiFi coverage that I can connect to. I have my Android phone (and I see I'm not the only one here that does) for when I'm out and about and want internet. I also have a WiFi-only Android tablet for personal use. When I travel for work I'm a walking electronics store.


macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2010
I have allways bought the 3G and now 4g versions it ony costs $10 per month to share my 6 gig data plan so were ever I go I have Internet access. And when we travel I switch to a ATT sim and sign up for when we need it. Some hotels charge $15 per day for Internet access so you will save the cost difference between the wifi and 4g quickly.


macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
For me, I couldn't see a reason to get the 3G or '4G' iPad because When I leave the house I'm too busy to play with the iPad and my phone can provide Internet if I'm outside a wifi hotspot and need to look something up.

I use my iPad 98% at home.

Besides the data plans are just complete crap, if I wanted to view HD video (ESP on the glorious retina display) I couldn't view crap because the data plans provide so little. The only thing the 3G is good for is basic Internet browsing you start doing anything fun like streaming video or music you're gonna hit that limit quick.

Just my 2 cents
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