iPad cellular vs iPhone hotspot

Discussion in 'iPad' started by roccobladr, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. roccobladr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #1
    So I've been really interested in getting an iPad (still need to decide which version but thats a whole other subject!), mainly for work purposes in places that don't have wifi (I travel to different sites during the week).

    Price is an issue, so I am not sure if it is worth having the cellular built into the iPad or get the mobile hotspot feature on my iPhone 4S and use the wifi on that. The only downside would be losing my unlimited att plan if I add the hotspot feature.

    Anyone have any experience using the iPad both way? Do usage and speeds differ at all? I'd hate to kill my iPhone battery using the hotspot, but it might be worth it to save the 170$.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. ckurt25 macrumors 6502a

    ckurt25

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #2
    I'm going with the hotspot feature. I get a 20% discount on AT&T so I get 2 extra GB for $10 a month. As soon as a jailbreak comes out for the iPhone 5 I'll install mywi and drop the tethering plan.

    I'm not too worried about battery life as the only time I'd really plan on doing the tethering and using it a lot is when I'll have the ability to have my iPhone charging.
     
  3. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #3
    Thoughts: 1) Speed will be the same. 2) I'd rethink losing that unlimited data. Wish now I still had mine. Once you have an LTE iPhone you'll see why. Even moreso because you'll be using the data for your ipad. 3) hotspot drains the iPhone battery FAST. like as fast as using GPS. No way you can use your iPhone as a hotspot for as many hours (without recharging) as an iPad will run on its own cellular.

    The part I can't answer is how important the $130 (plus monthly data on the iPad!) is to you.

    So to summarize, hotspot pros are really just cost (up front and monthly). Cons are iPhone battery drain and no unlimited. For what it's worth, I use hotspot with a wifi iPad 2. But I don't have to do it all that often.
     
  4. maestrocasa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Somewhere on the Buffalo National River
    #4
    I've been pretty happy using the hotspot feature on my phone. Saved $130 markup on the iPad, plus the $20 or $30/month for a 30-day allotment of data.

    Of course the real question you have to ask is "is it worth giving up a grandfathered unlimited data plan?" Would your unlimited plan include data for your iPad? If so, I'd probably go with the cellular iPad. If not, and you don't really need the unlimited data, I might go for the hotspot feature and know that you are saving bucks every month!
     
  5. roccobladr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #5
    hmm it really is a tough call on whether or not to give up my unlimited data plan.. I doubt I ever use much more than 2gb a month, but still nice to know its there (even if it does get throttled at a certain point). Also, having the LTE on the iPad might allow for better connection at some points in the city instead of the fake "4G" on my 4S.

    I guess the biggest factor is which iPad version I get. If I get a cheaper mini than I don't mind paying that extra 130$ for the cellular. It's just that 629$ iPad that is a tough pill to swallow.
     
  6. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #6
    Confused. ATT cracks down on mywi tethering.

    Guess you haven't been caught?
     
  7. ckurt25 macrumors 6502a

    ckurt25

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #7
    I never abused it. I wasn't on unlimited data to begin with and kept total usage between the phone and ipad, on average, between 3 - 4 GB per month.
     

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