iPad with cellular: why?

clunkmess

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 28, 2011
578
384
California
I have the iPad Pro with cellular and really don't see the point of it. I have the T-Mobile 200MB/month for life deal and the only times i ever needed to use it are when my Wi-Fi went out, and another time i was at a hotel and the Wi-Fi was so slow that it was unusable. And now that i can enable personal hotspot on my iPhone with AT&T, i wouldn't be stranded in a situation with no Wi-Fi.

Im thinking of getting the 10.5" without cellular this time but I'm scared that i might regret it later.

To all iPad owners with cellular, what situations have you been in where you genuinely had use for the cellular?
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
1,525
1,873
Well, I was relaxing in my backyard just today where my wireless signal is hit and miss. I just switched to my cellular data and continued on. My phone was in the house. I'll always buy cell enabled iPads. It's the little things...
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2009
4,917
1,843
Upstate NY
Using your phone as a hot spot is a major battery hog, but if you're rarely going to be in the situation where you use your iPad away from wifi it makes no sense.

I have an LTE iPad Pro as I used AT&T's next program to buy it. I needed it when I bought it, but haven't used it with LTE that much since.
 

nutriousmitten

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2017
238
254
I will assume the new cellular models,as was with the 9.7 and 12.9 previous gen models, have done away with the plastic bit for better reception, on the top back of the IPads (such as Air 2 and previous)? So basically look no different externally then the non-cell versions.
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2009
4,917
1,843
Upstate NY
I will assume the new cellular models,as was with the 9.7 and 12.9 previous gen models, have done away with the plastic bit for better reception, on the top back of the IPads (such as Air 2 and previous)? So basically look no different externally then the non-cell versions.
My 9.7" iPad Pro LTE looks like any other iPad, so yes, they did away with the plastic.
 
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yegon

macrumors 68030
Oct 20, 2007
2,830
936
Data only sims cheap as chips in UK. Use my iPad loads away from home, much rather have a reliable LTE connection without the need for crappy security compromised wifi.

Tethering is okay, but when you've experienced instant cellular, there's no comparison.
 

dsquarius90

macrumors newbie
Dec 12, 2013
22
7
I have an LTE enabled iPad Pro to use as my primary computer at home and on the go.

When I need to complete a task that cannot otherwise be completed on my iPad, I tether my MacBook Pro to my iPhone or iPad, which are both on the Verizon Unlimited plan.

So Verizon essentially functions as my primary ISP, as I have no need for Comcast Cable or AT&T DSL. My iPhone and iPad allow me to watch Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube everywhere, so that's my "TV."

My iPad is the computer that I use to complete 90% of my computer work. My MacBook Pro is only used for manipulating complex PDFs, large spreadsheets, maintaining a SquareSpace website for my employer, and managing large amounts of files (which may be helped by the upcoming Files app).

For me, the $20 I pay each month for my tablet line is a lot better than the $100-$200 that some of my friends and family pay for Comcast & AT&T Internet/TV/Phone bundles. It's really a no-brainer.

The only caveat is if you want a "Smart Home" with a Nest Thermostat, Alexa-enabled refrigerator, etc...you need a traditional ISP & one of the routers they provide.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,225
4,200
Find My iPad always works since the internet connection is always on. With WiFi-only, it goes offline sometimes. It's also been useful when the internet craps out or if there's a blackout, rare as those may be. :)

Personally, I use my LTE on the iPad intermittently throughout the day. If you don't use LTE a lot, tethering is fine. If you do, reconnecting to the iPhone every single time it goes into power saving mode is a major annoyance that's well worth avoiding for an extra $10/mo.

Mind, my iPhone data usage is typically less than 1GB per month. My iPad? Around 10-15GB.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
2,389
408
New Orleans
It came in handy when I cancelled my internet service. I only spent certain weekdays at my condo, and with a limited data plan on my cell, I found it useful having the 5GB for 10$. But really that was it. I do like having it as spare data if I'm trying to conserve my phone battery, but again this rarely happens. But based on the price, I'd much rather have the data plan on my iPad and tether to my phone :p
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,528
9,078
Ventura County
I have the iPad Pro with cellular and really don't see the point of it. I have the T-Mobile 200MB/month for life deal and the only times i ever needed to use it are when my Wi-Fi went out, and another time i was at a hotel and the Wi-Fi was so slow that it was unusable. And now that i can enable personal hotspot on my iPhone with AT&T, i wouldn't be stranded in a situation with no Wi-Fi.

Im thinking of getting the 10.5" without cellular this time but I'm scared that i might regret it later.

To all iPad owners with cellular, what situations have you been in where you genuinely had use for the cellular?
My first iPad was an iPad 2 with cellular, because I was on the grandfathered AT&T plan without tethering. I also used the 200MB free TMO plan on that. I held onto that iPad for a couple years, even after getting my iPad Air 2 WiFi so I had cellular. Now that I finally have tethering on my iPhone, I can solely use my WiFi Air 2. I probably won't buy another cellular iPad, not worth the additional cost.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,666
10,664
Singapore
All the time. I am a teacher using my iPad in the classroom. It's handy when I need to download documents from my cloud storage to open in notability, or stream a YouTube video on the fly, or just check email or telegram a colleague without having to tether to my phone first. My school wifi has a ton of restrictions built in, so I rather not rely on it.
 

TraceyS/FL

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2007
4,064
191
North Central Florida
I'm on LTE right now in bed, why? My wifi signal sucks in my room right now.

But, I am considering not getting the cellular version despite saying I'd never do that. Tethering should work.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,539
2,282
I don't undestand it either. I'm always on a quest to lower my monthly spending, and for me constant internet on a tablet would be very redundant and wasteful (with wifi at home, work, cafes, and phone hotspot everywhere else on the rare occasions that I need it). I guess people have different needs though. The idea of replacing home internet with ipad internet is intriguing, but wouldn't work for me at the moment because of my work requirements.
 

darkarn

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2017
828
341
Singapore
Actually I am thinking about this too. Having cellular means being able to use the full potential of the iPad but it also means another component that can spoil and also higher monthly costs of having to get another SIM card for data
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,894
You don't use it so you don't see the point of it. :shrug:

The only wifi iPad I bought was the first iPad. Anything else after that (2,3,4, and finally mini 2), I bought the cellular version. This has proven beneficial with the mini as it makes the iPad truly portable and standalone, without having to tether or beg for wifi.

Now, having said that, obviously if you never take your iPad outside, then just stick with the wifi version. Also if you treat the iPad like a laptop (very few laptops have cellular modem), then just get the wifi version and tether as needed.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,225
4,200
I don't undestand it either. I'm always on a quest to lower my monthly spending, and for me constant internet on a tablet would be very redundant and wasteful (with wifi at home, work, cafes, and phone hotspot everywhere else on the rare occasions that I need it). I guess people have different needs though.
Those pretty much. You may not use it often but for those of us who do, it's worth it. All things considered, I'd save a lot more by kicking my comics habit than getting rid of LTE on my iPad.
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,894
I don't undestand it either. I'm always on a quest to lower my monthly spending, and for me constant internet on a tablet would be very redundant and wasteful (with wifi at home, work, cafes, and phone hotspot everywhere else on the rare occasions that I need it). I guess people have different needs though. The idea of replacing home internet with ipad internet is intriguing, but wouldn't work for me at the moment because of my work requirements.
Many carriers offer pay as you need plans for the iPad. All carriers in the US do, I believe. This is even truer in Asia where prepaid is the common form of cellular plans. So I just buy some data quota when I need it, no need to pay some monthly subscription plan.
 
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rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,225
4,200
Now, having said that, obviously if you never take your iPad outside, then just stick with the wifi version. Also if you treat the iPad like a laptop (very few laptops have cellular modem), then just get the wifi version and tether as needed.
Lol, I tether my laptop to the iPad when needed. Tethering to my iPhone would kill its battery life. Tethering to my iPad is a negligible drain. :)

And yep, I bring my iPad everywhere. :p
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,894
Lol, I tether my laptop to the iPad when needed. Tethering to my iPhone would kill its battery life. Tethering to my iPad is a negligible drain. :)

And yep, I bring my iPad everywhere. :p
Haha me too. WIth its huge battery, the iPad is an excellent hotspot device.
 
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