All iPads ipad with LTE or just tether to iphone?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Stelow, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Stelow macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
    I'm trying to decide whether to purchase an ipad with LTE, or one with just wifi and tether it to my iphone when traveling.

    Obviously the wifi only model is cheaper, but I am wondering if the LTE version would be noticeably faster versus the tethered setup?

  2. sjperformance macrumors 6502


    Oct 7, 2013
    Miami 305
    ipad with LTE or just tether to iphone?

    LTE speeds depend on your carrier. I Bluetooth tether from my 5S (AT&T) to my iPad air. I have great LTE speeds here in Miami. Even areas where it drops to 4G is great speeds. It's fast and speeds are great.
  3. Stelow thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
    Awesome, thanks!
  4. bnekic macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Definitely tether, why pay $130 more for a cellular iPad for no reason?
  5. Mazda 3s macrumors 6502

    Mazda 3s

    Oct 29, 2006
    Tether for me, I refuse to pay for two data plans. I still have unlimited data on my iPhone 5, so I'm just waiting for the iOS 7 jailbreak so I can tether with my iPad Air.
  6. Stelow thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
    Cool, thanks very much for the feedback!
  7. EDH667 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2009
    Northern California
    I tend to get the cellular version of iPads for the convenience factor and so I don't drain the power quickly on my iPhone. Unless you have your iPhone plugged in while tethering, you will be amazed at how quickly the battery is drained.

    Also the cellular version of the iPads have the GPS chip that will come in handy if you want to use GPS enabled Apps. Worth the extra $130 in my opinion.
  8. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The advantages to the LTE model are that like your phone, it's always on. You don't have to set up the tethering connection each time you want to use it, and you won't be using up both devices battery to get online. It's a convenience factor.

    If you won't be needing to tether very often, that's probably the better way. Keep in mind that with most carriers today it's pretty easy to add or remove features (like a data plan to your iPad) on an as-needed basis right from the carrier's app.
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    For the past two models of iPad I've had (iPad 2 and 3), I've gone with Wifi and tethered to my iPhone when I needed it. But with the Air, I went cellular.

    Why? Well first, free 200MB data from T-mobile. Every little bit helps.

    Second: I get the option of popping in a different carrier (like Verizon) and using the iPad as an alternate hotspot if my main carrier (AT&T) has poor coverage where I'm travelling.
  10. Zepaw macrumors 65816


    Apr 18, 2010
    Its very situational. If you have enough data on your phone to share obviously use that. I have unlimited T-mo but I can't share it so LTE iPad for me. :p
  11. xraytech macrumors 68030

    Mar 24, 2010
    There are advantages with certain Apps that you can only get with a Cell Data enabled iPad.

    Also, tethering and using you phone's data connection drains the battery like nothing else.
  12. comatose81 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    How long do you need to tether from your iPhone to your iPad? I know that if I turn my phone's hotspot on for 45 minutes it drains about 1/3 of the battery. If you can deal with that, or will always have your phone plugged in when tethering, then save the $130.
  13. docprego macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    IMO it's all about the battery life. The Air is delivering such amazing battery life that having cellular built in becomes a huge convenience. Tethering will drain your phone's battery at a much greater rate than will the integrated cellular in the iPad Air. And as mentioned you also get GPS which is worth the $130 by itself.
  14. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    I echo these thoughts. Coupled with the fact that tablet data plans are buy as you need. Doesn't have to be a consistent expense.
  15. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Integration comes with convenience. Plus tethering to your phone uses the latter's battery much faster.

    The cellular model also comes with a real GPS instead of just WiFi geolocation.

    Otherwise, the two are the same.

    Personally I used to buy only the cellular model. This year because they don't have the cellular model yet, I picked up the WiFi only model with a 3G MiFi; seems to work well. I realized I don't really use my iPad for anything exception entertainment which doesn't really require Internet.
  16. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I've been debating about this myself. T-mobile's free 200MB is nice, but obviously isn't much. Adding the iPad to an AT&T mobile share plan means $10/month, so $120/year plus the additional $130 up front. That seems like a lot of $$$ unless you're using the hell out of it.

    People complain about battery drainage whilst tethering, which is true. But there are some nice battery cases for the iPhone out there for much less than $130 which should mitigate any issues.

    I'll probably go wi-fi to be honest, but I sure would like that GPS chip!
  17. Silver78 macrumors 6502


    Aug 24, 2013
    Most is already said.
    It really depends on how much you plan to use your ipad while on the move and if you are willing to pay the extra price for extra dataplan.

    I chose cell version because i really got tired of setting up the tether, the battery usage of phone and I oftern loose the connection between phone and ipad.

    Gps in ipad is a plus and I like the option of putting in a sim.

    In Denmark were i live you can get tablets with a small discount if you buy it with data subscription and even interrest free monthly rate payment on tablet also.
  18. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    Tether of course. You cant even download/update large apps while on LTE and eill have to tether to get around that block either way. The Air was my first non cellular iPad because i got so mad about having to tether with my cellular iPad because Apple had blocked what I could do on cellular.

    Also for me the most times where I need cellular on the go for longar than an hour or 2 I am either in my car or inside somewhere and thus have access to electricity. For longer tethering sessions and "always on internet" there is bluetooth tethering which draws very little power and is always there without having to be set up every time.
  19. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I can scrape together $0.33 per day for the convenience, plus the fact that my phone won't always be dead from tethering. Plus, since I'm on Verizon I'll be able to talk on my phone while i access the internet.
  20. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice
    As somebody who is using the iphone 5s as a tether to my laptop every day at work, I can state that the battery life is still great. It drains nowhere near the juice I expected it to. I was really surprised at how incredibly great the batter life on my 5s is considering how much I do with it.

    So I don't think you should worry about this aspect. The aspect you should be more worried about is the sneaky phone provider and their fine print in relation to fair usage with "unlimited" data plans.

    I got shunted down to 128k for a couple of days last week due to using too much data under my carrier's fair use rule even though I have "unlimited" data. And no, I wasn't downloading! This fair use rule is not advertised at all. very sneaky of them. This is Softbank in Japan BTW, so America or wherever you are may be totally different. But I would guess they all operate the same way.

    EDIT: FYI, I tether using wifi, not Bluetooth (BT slower but draws less power).
  21. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    This is my first wifi only ipad, have 2 gb on my phone to use a month. Only need it when travelling once a month for a few days. Was paying nearly $60 a month for a ipad 4 and 4gb which was hardly used.
  22. osofast240sx macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
    geofencing apps alone are worth the extra bucks. I dish apple will stop making wifi only iPads.
  23. Ryox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2007
    its more money but I think its worth the LTE models.
    the convenience of not having to tether my phone is awesome.
    I don't constantly need it, but its there when I need it.
  24. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Because I may want an always on instant connection? Because I may want to save my phone battery to talk? Because I don't want to mess with hotspot turning on or off? Because I value my convenience more? There's a couple of reasons. Otherwise the cellular versions wouldn't be selling out like they are.


    Well, some of us use our iPhones to, you know, talk. And I need my iPhone to last me a regular work day and then some, 10-12 hours. So yes, I worry about this aspect. I need my iPhone to work all day and be able to talk on it all day.
  25. techiegirl macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    I find the LTE version to be faster than tethering. When you get to LTE speed, I don't think it really makes a huge difference. If you're only taking your iPad out occasionally and if wifi is widely available where you are, then save the $$.

    Unfortunately, wifi isn't available for me and my iPad is practically attached to me 24/7. I could not give up my LTE and just stick with a wifi version.

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