Help Me Decide on Which iPad/AT&T Plan?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iBighouse, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. iBighouse macrumors 6502a

    iBighouse

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    Mar 11, 2012
    #1
    I'm going to walk into my local Apple store after the lines die down a bit and purchase a new iPad. However, I'm having a tough time deciding on what to buy. Part of my cunundrum is based on not knowing, exactly, what model might work best for my needs and current and future situation. So, here's some background info that will help illumunate my situation...

    1. I currently have the AT&T grandfathered unlimited data plan for each of my two phones. I am not a heavy wireless cell data user and most often use my iPhone 4S at home or at work(s) where there is always a wifi connection. In looking at my usage on my primary phone it shows, via the My AT&T app, that I've used 160MB in the last 16/29 days fo the billing cycle. It's been a pretty normal month and so I could safely double that for a typical 30 day month billing cycle. The other phone uses even less- it's at less than two MB of data usage for the same billing cycle...yes, that's right 1.59MB!

    2. My iPhone is a 64GB model and I've got about half of it filled with apps/songs/pictures/videos/ibooks now.

    3. I am an adjunct instructor at a local community college and anticipate using the iPad for storing/displaying lesson material and for textbook storage that I will likely project for instruction and demonstration during lectures. I'll also use it as a storage device for study guides for my own learning as well.

    4. I NEVER, and I mean NEVER, even come close to approaching my limits for my current AT&T plan in terms of minutes. My old grandfathered plan allows for like 500 minutes per phone per month. I use but a small fraction of that on either phone. I've always got about 5,000 rollover minutes left each month! So I'm thinking of switching to a limited data plan when I get the new iPad so that I could then save money, potentially, and get an iPad that works with my needs. Right now, I can't use my iPhone as a personal hotspot (isn't available with grandfathered unlimited plans!) which would be an option should I want to access the internet with my new iPad and there isnt' a nearby public wifi hotspot (I'm just assuming this can be done?). So the need for a 4GLTE model isn't extremely important if I switch plans.

    So, I'm leaning towards the 64GB model either way, but can't decide if I should switch my current AT&T plan and go with one that is better matched to my download usage, maybe even less expensive...try to use the iPhone 4S's personal hotspot when needed for occasional internet access for the iPad...or keep my current unlimited data plan (which I could never re-acquire should I ditch it) and maybe go for the 4GLTE, or simply the wifi model of the iPad and limit my internet connection time to locations where I know I have wifi access.

    Part of me doesn't want to get rid of a plan that won't ever be available again...part of me says "why pay for something that you don't use if another, cheaper plan would work as well and give you more functionality/access?"

    Your opinions, especially those who've weighed them and made a decision to go one way or the other, are most appreciated.

    Oh, one item I've definitely decided on and don't need help with: White- it's gotta match my iPhone!
     
  2. rman726 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 15, 2007
    #2
    If you are going to textbooks, I would be safe and just get 64GB. If there is a chance that you are going to need more than 32GB, and the extra $100 isn't going to break the bank, just be safe. You definitely don't want 16GB iPad if you are going to have textbooks on it.

    If you have Wifi at work, you probably don't need 3GB, but you probably will want to have more than 250MB as iPad websites use a lot more bandwidth than mobile websites you browse on your iPhone. I would look into the Verizon model, and get the 1GB plan for $20 from them. If you end up needing more, you can always jump up to 2GB for $10 more. Unfortunately you won't have the option of 3GB for $30 this way, but it sounds like you don't need 3GB anyways.
     
  3. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

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  4. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    ^this
     
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #5
    Yup, agreed. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
     
  6. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

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    #6
    If moment is not a problem get the 64gb. If it is, less will HAVE to do. Get it if you can afford it.
     
  7. MartyXB macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2011
    #7
    If you have AT&T service I would stick with it since soon they will be offering a shared data plan and you realy dont want to be dealing with two providers.
     
  8. iDvisic macrumors member

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    Feb 21, 2012
    #8
    I think an important thing to know is this: would your mobile phone hotspot option be an "every month" kind of thing? With the iPad mobile plans, you can activate it and deactivate on a month by month basis.

    Another question: have you run the figures to compare costs between your grandfathered unlimited plan and a lower plan? How much would you really be saving? Then factor in the cost of an iPad plan versus the additional tethering charge.

    Personally, I went with a 64g w/ Verizon. I travel a lot in some fairly remote areas where AT&T coverage is often non-existent (I used to have a 3GS with AT&T--now I have a 4S with Sprint). I plan on using it wifi all the way unless I'm on the road--at which point I can activate the Verizon plan for a month, then deactivate it once home. And since both models are "world 3g ready" it should be the best choice all around, for my needs.

    Also, I like that the LTE model has GPS so I can fully utilize the "find my device" features. :)

    -->iDv.
     
  9. erawsd macrumors 6502

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    Jul 1, 2011
    #9
    It doesn't sound like you need to bother with a data connection at all for your iPad. You barely use any data on your cellphone and it sounds like you are mostly going to use your iPad from work or home where you have wifi.

    I would say save the $130 and put it toward some nice apps and accessories.
     
  10. JohnCalif macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2011
    #10
    In my opinion, it's a no brainer. I would not give up the unlimited plan. They have indicated they do not intend to throttle the data at 5 GB. I would also stay with the 64GB. I'm selling my iPad2 and getting the 64GB AT&T 4G LTE, also have the unlimited data plan.

    My suggestion to you is based on your use in your education occupation. I think the iPad, especially with the new display, will motivate us to use the device in additional ways compared to how we used it before. Especially the educational environment could motivate additional applications for videos, interactive sites, multimedia, etc. You might find your workhabits or workflow could lead you to wanting to download when you are away from the WiFi at work.

    Bottom line - Why limit yourself now when your use could likely expand?
     
  11. iBighouse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iBighouse

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    Mar 11, 2012
    #11
    So have you pencil'd out the numbers to see what you'll be saving/spending beyond what you did for your current unlimited plan based on the new limited plan you're going to go with?
     
  12. Larrupin macrumors member

    Larrupin

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    #12
    Amen to that!
     
  13. donnaw macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I kind of in the same boat as the OP. I have an AT&T unlimited plan for my phone and I use about 100m a month. I like having a smartphone because I use Excel and an ewallet but I really don't even need data.

    I do however, have an ipad2 AT&T version (and just ordered a new iPad). I have found over the last year that I use the data on my iPad a lot. I travel and I don't always have access to wifi. I'm out of contract on my phone next month and I'm actually considering dumping my smartphone and getting a dumb one and dumping the phone data plan. I have found that anytime I really need data I have my iPad with me. And to my old eyes, reading my email etc on the iPad is much easier than my phone. If I don't have my iPad, then my email can just wait.

    Having said that, I'm hoping AT&T comes out with some sort of 'combined' data plan. For me, that would be the best of both worlds.
     
  14. JohnCalif macrumors member

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    #14
    I am not going with a limited data plan. I am staying with the unlimited plan.
     
  15. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #15
    If thats really your plan good luck with that.
     
  16. drober30 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Your choices will be limited if your walking in after the line dies down a bit. However, I would think you would have a better shot at the 64GB high priced model. The less expensive ones will be snatched up.
     
  17. iBighouse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iBighouse

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    Mar 11, 2012
    #17
    huh? Are you saying that all models won't be available after the initial rush??? I can't believe that would be the case. I'll be buying the 64GB model, just not sure if I want 4GLTE or not. I really don't feel like paying $15/$30 a month for yet more service charges- unless it's something that I really would benefit from and use.

    I remember when I bought my 4S I just walked into the mall, stood in a short line for maybe 30 minutes and walked out soon thereafter with a 4S 64GB model...and a 32GB one as well.

    I doubt that there will be a limited selection once the initial rush dies down.
     
  18. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #18
    Usually on release day the lines are what clear out the initial limited inventory. If you don't stand in line I doubt you would be able to get one on release day.
     
  19. iBighouse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iBighouse

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    Mar 11, 2012
    #19
    Oh I can wait a week or two after release date. :)

    Here's a question for someone though- if I buy the 4G LTE model I see that I must purchase a data plan with it, either $15/$30/$50 per month. I also see that a plan is required for the unit...but I read that the plan can be canceled at any time.

    Can one buy a 4G unit and then decide to bail on the data plan for it and still use it exclusively as a WiFi only device???
     
  20. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #20
    Yes.
     
  21. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #21
    The data plan is considered month to month does not consider a contract and is completely optional. You are not required to get the data plan when you purchase the iPad. Some people purchase the 3G iPad and have never activated the cellular service.
     
  22. iBighouse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iBighouse

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    Mar 11, 2012
    #22
    Oh...so if I were say going to travel to an area for a while that I wasn't certain I'd have wifi access at, I could enable the service for a month at any time...and then drop it when I returned to my regular haunts??? This makes sense to me.
     
  23. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #23
    That is exactly how it works. Very convenient huh. Another thing you might not know about the LTE version is that is also has GPS and the Wi-FI version does not.
     
  24. MartyXB macrumors member

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    #24
    As soon as ANY of the majors comes out with this all will follow in short order or face massive defections. Verizon says that they will offer this in 2012.
     
  25. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #25
    AT&T is preparing the same thing. http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/12/att-shared-data/

    I expect once one pulls the trigger the other will follow before long.
     

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