All iPads iPad Air 2: Cellular or WiFi-only?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by jimlaing, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. jimlaing macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2009
    Central NC
    I have an iPhone 6+, which I can use as a Hot Spot (Verizon). I have always purchased iPads with cellular before (iPad 1 then iPad 3). Now that I'm contemplating upgrading my iPad3 for an iPad-Gen6 (iPad Air 2), I wondered about saving $129 and going WiFi only on this purchase. If I need 'data' away from WiFi, I could just use my iPhone as a hot spot.


  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Go with the wifi only. You can use the hotspot as you say, and you will save money not having to buy additional plans for a cellular iPad. Just make sure you keep tabs on your data and dont go over the limit
  3. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    There have been many many threads on this issue now.

    Don't forget, using hotspot on your phone depletes your phones battery.

    I went cellular.
  4. Dan70 macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2014
    I'd go WiFi only, it's cheaper and you can use your phone. If you really need to be on the internet for that long it's taking a toll on your phones battery, find a public WiFi hotspot and use that.
  5. JSalig, Nov 3, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014

    JSalig macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2010
    Assuming you had the ipad 3 for years, did you honestly miss the extra money you spent by going with cellular? I say take the hit now and save yourself from any future regret and second guessing.
  6. bwsteg macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2012
    Queens NY
    I had originally ordered a wifi 16gb but recently returned it and ordered a 64gb cellular version. Took advantage of the $100 off for 2-year commitment and I also had a $100 coupon off any iPad. So in total I paid $575 for a 64gb LTE iPad air 2. I def. think its worth not having to deal with using your iPhone as a hot spot, etc..
  7. kendu2412 macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    Fairfield CA
    Did it like that before , use hot spot from my iPhone to share data with my iPad wifi only . Too much problem , need to turn on/off hot spot on fone and battery drain faster , and uncomfortable too.

    Bought Cellular and pay $10 / month for 3Gb data T Mobile , smooth and easy.
  8. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    I have personally never bought a cellular iPad but my father has. TBH, my iPad very rarely leaves the house and when I do take it with me I never feel the need to use it for internet because I have my iPhone. I usually will load data from iTunes and just watch that.

    If I ever did need a data signal, I can hotspot my iPhone when needed (I'm on VZW too) and I always have a backup battery nearby just in case I'm running out of battery and not near an outlet. Plus, with the awesome battery on the 6 Plus, I don't think that will be much of a worry.

    I'd save the $130 or put it towards getting a higher capacity.
  9. duaneu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 19, 2010
    Bellevue, WA
    I like having the cellular model. I rarely actually use the cellular data, so I signed up for the T-Mobile 200 MB per month for free.
  10. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
  11. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    How often have you used the cellular function on your previous iPads? If you rarely use it, then a wifi iPad tethered to your phone as needed should be fine. I had a cellular iPad for a while, and all my subsequent ones have been wifi only. I just didn't use cellular enough to justify the extra money upfront or the additional charge for a separate data plan.

    RE: wifi from the phone--Use Bluetooth tethering from your 6+ rather than broadcasting a wifi hotspot from the phone; works very well and doesn't have the extreme battery drain on the phone that you can see from wifi tethering.
  12. Rockies macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2011
    Have 5GB tethering with my phone plan so no need to spend an extra $120/year for celluar service and $130 more for the celluar version. I always have my phone with me, so no need to have 2 celluar devices with me. Most places I vacation have Wi-Fi.
  13. EdMan macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2011
    Most answers are completely personal on this matter. The only answer that matters is the one you can give yourself about your own needs. I also had a cellular iPad 3 that is owned for 2.5 years that I used the cellular once. My iPad rarely leaves the house and I mostly use it for web surfing and magazine reading. This time I went WiFi and don't believe I made a wrong choice.
  14. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Cellular iPad makes sense when you're a heavy on-the-go user of your iPad. It allows you to get online without wasting your phone's battery running a hotspot when there's no wifi available.

    Also, cellular iPads make great hotspots themselves, with unbelievable battery life.

    If you mostly use your iPad at home or at places where there's Wifi, then don't bother with the cellular version.

    Basically, if you travel a lot and need to get online anywhere, go for the cellular iPad.
  15. jimlaing thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2009
    Central NC
    GPS requires cellular-capable iPad?

    Another thing I heard (read) is that the WiFi-only iPad does not have a GPS function. Would I "miss" GPS if I had a WiFi only iPad? I'm not sure when GPS is used - certainly for Maps apps, and I guess for any apps that use "Location" info?

    Someone in another thread mentioned that if you want GPS and the functions it brings, you need to buy a cellular-enabled iPad ???

  16. Mliii macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2006
    Southern California
    I look at it this way:
    The extra money amortized over the time I intend to keep the iPad makes the price difference negligible. And I *think* resale is likely to be greater with the Cellular option.
    I don't use Cellular very much, but I know I can in a pinch.

    I'm wondering what others are doing with regard to AT&T's BRILLIANT move to lock the iPad Air 2's Apple SIM card to their network...:rolleyes:
    My cell is on AT&T, but I'm thinking about looking into using a different provider for iPad Cellular simply because I don't want to validate AT&T's decision by giving them more money...
  17. Bromio macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2014
    If you are going to tether a lot, the iPad will identify your cellular smartphone connection as WiFi, so it will consume more data than if you were using a cellular iPad.
  18. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    I bought 2 cellular Air 2s. I took them to an AT&T store to replace two old cellular iPads on my Mobile Share plan. AT&T put two new AT&T nano SIMs in, gave me the 'virgin' Apple SIMs, and sent me on my way. Very easy, and free.
  19. Mliii macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2006
    Southern California
    Thanks for that info! Much appreciated.
    I wonder whether that was just your particular store or whether there is some unspoken corporate policy allowing for that.
  20. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    If you need cellular seldom, then WiFi only would be the way to go. BUT, I learned long ago that teathering with suck the battery life from your phone so I moved to cellular iPad Air 2. Can not imagine not having it anymore.
  21. Cavmclaren macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2014
    I have a celluar ipad air on att and I usually keep it on the lowest data plan which is 256mb for $15/mo but you can raise it at anytime if you think you will go over.

    I would say get the cellular my ipad was a life saver when I was without a phone for a few weeks without the cellular data it would have been useless. you just never know when you will need it.

    Also if you have a grandfathered unlimited data plan like me, you cant tether your data with out jailbreaking so theres that as well.
  22. emuyshondt macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    One consideration is whether you use any location based services on your iPad. Only the cellular model includes a GPS for things like moving maps, geo-tagging your pictures and sorting them by where you took them, finding the nearest place of business through yelp and other apps, etc. Of course, your phone can do these things too, but sometimes it is nice to use the larger iPad screen.

    The $129 price difference gets you two things: a cellular modem and a GPS receiver.
  23. GlenK macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2013
    St. Augustine, FL
    As long as I can afford the price it's a no brainer for me. Will always get the cellular and hold on to my unlimited data plan from the 1st iPad. One of these days they'll dump these plans then I'll rethink everything based on the situation at the time.
  24. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    The battery on the iPhone 6 Plus is pretty massive. I went from a Mini 2 LTE to the Air 2 WiFi because of how easy it is to tether in iOS 8 and how massive the battery is in my iPhone now. Remember, if you have Verizon you not only save $129, but you also save $10/mo on your data plan. That's quite a bit of savings for a very small amount of inconvenience. I'm not sure if I would make this recommendation to anyone but an iPhone 6 Plus owner, unless they only rarely used the instant hotspot capability.
  25. double329 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    I went with Wifi model mainly I have iPhone 6+ with hotspot in my share plan. It is very convenience as far as hot-spot goes. I can connect my ipad, laptop, or whatever... I always have phone with me. So, that works out better. I don't need to get LTE model where I have to pay additional fee.

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