iPad 3: AT&T or Verizon (Buying in US before going home to Europe)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Raelthorne, May 3, 2012.

  1. Raelthorne macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2012
    Hi folks,

    Quick question about the iPad 3. I'm off to the States for a long holiday on Sunday, touring the east coast area and I'm going to get the new iPad.

    Originally I was going to get an iPad 2 until the new one was announced :) I was going for the 3G model and from researching it, I knew I'd have to get the AT&T model (which was unlocked and compatible with any microsim & European GSM networks) and not the CDMA Verizon version which wouldn't take a microsim.

    I was wondering, with the new iPad and the AT&T and Verizon versions, does it matter which one I get (I'm primarily interested in European use for when I get home). The Apple site says that both the ATT and Verizon model of the new iPad can roam worldwide on GSM/UMTS networks. So in effect, does it really matter which version I get?

    Thanks for any and all help,

  2. Kralledr macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2012

    you can buy any at&t version :) but do not buy verzion..

    so no worries you can get at%t i have the same and i use it it germany or sometimes asia
  3. Kyotoma macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2010
    Carnegie and Ontario
    I would go for the AT&T model, as it can utilize LTE on the 700 mHz and AWS frequencies whereas the Verizon just has the 700mHz bands.

    Depending on your country and your provider, you might be able to use those. Otherwise, both the AT&T and the Verizon models will roam on GSM/UMTS HSDPA 21.1 Mbps.
  4. Blorzoga macrumors 68030


    May 21, 2010
    While it is true that both devices will work equally well in Europe on 3G networks, if you ever plan to use it the states, you might want to research the LTE coverage. Verizon has better coverage presently. But depending on where you may go, AT&T may have adequate coverage. Also, with the Verizon model, you can still get AT&T 4G (not LTE).


    Why not Verizon?
  5. cfs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    As long as it is the New iPad then it won't matter if it is AT&T or Verizon. They both have the same international functions when using a SIM from that country.
  6. Raelthorne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2012
    Thanks for the advice folks.

    Just to confirm, whichever version I pick its, it doesn't matter which version with the microsim for 3G in Europe, but it'll effect 4G speeds in the US when travelling there?
  7. cfs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    This is my interpretation. I have asked multiple resources and got this response. Also, if you look at the specs for both iPads on the Apple site you will notice that they both use the same GSM/Edge frequencies which is what the international plans will use.


    The only thing you need to be careful of is if your country will only allow you to purchase a data plan if your iPad was bought in that country. For example, In Japan if you want data for an iPad you need to go through a cell company called Softbank. This company will only give data plans to residents and, from my understanding, iPads that have been purchased in Japan. This probably is not the case with your country but I think double checking won't hurt.

    Regardless, looking at the specs, Verizon or AT&T will be fine.
  8. SignalCorps macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    Coverage and quality is much better on Verizon than on AT&T all over the USA. That is not just my experience, it is what Consumer Reports magazine, a nonbiased, ad-free source, has reported for two years running, across multiple cities all over the USA. Here on the west side of Los Angeles our iPad3 gets LTE whenever we turn it on, no problems. We used to have trouble everywhere with AT&T just getting carrier for our non-smart phones. Not a bit of trouble after we switched to Verizon.
  9. reclusive46 macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    Just remember that the Verizon warranty will not be valid outside of the US, whereas the AT&T model is.
  10. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    The iPad comes with an Apple warranty, not a carrier warranty.
  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I am confused. I was in the Apple store today and the blue shirt told me that the Verizon iPad3 does not have a sim card and can only be used via Verizon roaming overseas and it is carrier locked to Verizon.
  12. Study13 macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2012
    The blue shirt is an idiot. It does have a sim card tray and I believe that all iPads are sold unlocked.
  13. quagmire, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    As the guy above me said, the guy was an idiot. The Verizon iPad does have a SIM card or else it wouldn't work with LTE.

    It is also unlocked. You can get a Verizon new iPad to work on AT&T's 3G network with an AT&T sim and changing a few settings.
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    That used to be true with the iPad 2. With the iPad 3, as everybody else has been saying, it does have a SIM card slot, and is unlocked for use with foreign carriers' SIM.
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    thanks to all! Some of the blueshirts are better (and worse) than others.
  16. Little E macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
  17. elefantrider, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012

    elefantrider macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2012
    So which version did you buy and did it work for you?

    Someone recently wrote they took a Verizon iPad 3 to Europe (France) and he couldn't get it to work with either of 2 carriers. Has that been your experience too?
  18. Little E macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    Sorry for the couple day delay in replying... Just saw your post.

    Currently writing this on my bought in the US Verizon New iPad. In Germany using my Telekom iPhone 4 sim card - Moin, moin!

    Couple notes. When I put my Telekom sim card in the iPad it let me know it was sim locked, I hit unlock and inputed my pin - just like I do on my iphone4. The iPad gongulated for a couple seconds after I turned cell data on and then found the Telekom.de network.

    My cell data page under settings changed, Verizon specific buttons to log into my Verizon account disappeared, and an APN link showed up (that was not previously there). I can go into APN and change the settings if required -- but it auto inputed them and started working with no inputs required by me. Though I had the APN settings handy if they were required.

    The personal hotspot page under settings disappeared - my Telekom account does not have personal hotspot - so that was almost expected.

    BL: no issues with US Verizon iPad new/3 working with a German sim. My iPad is not JB btw and running 5.1.1.

    Of note - my SIM card is normally running in an iphone4 - ie is already activated. Sometimes the activation period for a new sim card can take a bit. I have a no contract Tschibo sim I use in a MiFi. Activation took 24 hrs when I was setting it up a while back. It's a regular size SIM but I have been thinking of cutting it/finding a micro SIM card punch to fit it in my iPad - will report results when/or if I do that. Suspect previous problems reported from people in Europe are either operator error or Sim cards that haven't been activated. (activation period seems different based upon carrier - last summer when vacationing in Sweden I bought a Telenor sim that was activated out of the box...)


    Ps - while finishing this post I got a pop up notification letting me know new carrier settings were available and would I like to update them. As this is my normal cell sim I hit no - I don't have a specific to iPhone contract with Telekom but better safe than sorry!
  19. Little E macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    For ***** and giggles I just put my US Verizon sim card back in the iPad - APN link went away and the Verizon view account link came back - even though I obviously have no Verizon service here in Germany. Appears much of that stuff is specific to the SIM card/account/carrier.

  20. dchao macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2008
    You post about the differences between AT&T and VZW iPad was the most useful. That has helped me to make a decision to purchase the VZW version.

    Thanks for letting us know the account settings / APN settings screen is SIM dependent.

    I think the carrier usually store the APN setting on the SIM. That explains why you don't have to enter it manually. But nice to know you have the ability to change it in Europe. Maybe Europeans are far more technical then the Americans. :D
  21. elefantrider macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2012
    Thanks much! I pulled the trigger on a Verizon unit because their service is better in So.Cal. - looks like I made the right choice for both places.
  22. Fruit Cake macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2012
    Only reason I'd avoid vzw version is incase you need service, your local apple store in Europe most likely stocks the AT&T version instead of vzw (since its US only). You may have warranty issues down the track.
  23. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Would someone confirm if the Verizon iPad works on HSPA+ internationally (like say... China, France and or Brazil)? HSPA+ is plenty fast for me and having LTE at home would be a bonus.
  24. dchao macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2008
    In the UK, I am getting HSPA+ with my VZW iPad, and I am constantly getting 15M+ Down and 5M Up in London. With 4G LTE in San Fran, I'm getting 20M Up and Down. The 20M Up is nice, but unless you are uploading large video files, you are not going to see much of a difference.

    I think Europe is just going to skip LTE and head straight for the proper 4G.
  25. Pirate515 macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2011
    I think Apple has preset carrier profiles for all of their official carrier partners worldwide. Assuming your iDevice is unlocked, whenever you insert a SIM from one of such carriers, it will recognize it accordingly and apply proper settings. If you insert a SIM from any other carrier, it will present you with APN settings that you can put in manually.

    I had the same thing happen on my unlocked iPhone 4S. Although I am on AT&T right now, I purchased a pre-paid T-Mobile plan and their MicroSIM to double-check that the phone is in fact unlocked. Whenever I insert T-Mobile SIM, the APN settings appear and I have to apply them manually. When I remove that and put back AT&T SIM, APN settings disappear and are configured automatically.

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