iPad Is a cellular iPad still worthwhile for me?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Johnny Steps, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. Johnny Steps macrumors 6502

    Johnny Steps

    Jun 29, 2011
    I've had a cellular "the new iPad (3)" and an iPad Air cellular, but truth is I've only used it in those rare occasions where wifi wasn't available, like commuting to my campus and such.

    So I was thinking, since I have an iPhone capable of using hotspot, shouldn't I just use that for those rare occasions? Or are speeds better with an iPad with it's own cellular chip.

    I'm on AT&T if that matters.
  2. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    Do you have unlimited data? That's the only thing that would keep me form cancelling.
  3. Johnny Steps thread starter macrumors 6502

    Johnny Steps

    Jun 29, 2011
  4. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    Cancel it.
  5. Pjrufus macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014
    If you are on a month by month plan through your iPad, you should be able to cancel whenever you want, and turn it back on again for another month. That's the way it worked when my iPad was on ATT. At the time, I was working from home, so I just used wifi for months at a time. When I had to travel, I turned the service on, then off again after a month or two. I have it on Verizon now and it's the same.

    You can test out your hotspot thing before you cancel, or just cancel and see how it goes. It's easy to turn back on again.
  6. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    Is a cellular iPad still worthwhile for me?

    I honestly think it is looking at it now for me at least. I have t-mobile and unlimited data for my phone with 3gb of hotspot and now for $10 for 5gb of high speed data (unlimited data so I can use it even after going over 5gb) so now I'll have 8gb to use on my tablet and can't watch movies whenever I basically want on my tablet :)

    Even if you don't want it a lot if you can afford the $130 charge for it t-mobile offers 200mb of free data for life for the iPad or any tablet so you can still use cellular should you have an emergency and need it without turning on hotspot
  7. infantrytrophy macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    Depends on the plan you have.

    If I had one of those old plans that cost $30 for 2 GB or so of data for an iPad, I would either discontinue the plan or use it very judiciously (as you described).

    However, my wife and I have a new AT&T shared-data plan with 4 devices - 2 smart phones and 2 iPads. The iPads cost only $10 each per month, so it's worthwhile to keep them on the plan.

    And we have plenty of data to use. We were quite happy to sign up for 10 GB shared per month at a good price - less than our old plan with Verizon that had less data, no text messages and limited non-weekend talk minutes to 450. Just this week AT&T increased the shared monthly data allowance to 20 GB per month, so we have plenty of data to use when Wi-Fi is not available or when the Wi-Fi network is slow (common in many hotels).

    We have been pleased with the new AT&T plan that includes iPads for $10/month. Better cellular signal at our home, unlimited talk & text, 20 GB of shared data at a MUCH better price than Verizon. Good-bye, Verizon. It's very convenient to have cellular iPads on the data plan, at least when the plan is right.
  8. TECHNOLOGE macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2014
    I dont see no point in buying a Cellular iPad when u dont have unlimited data on it.

    Like there is no point in carrying around a iPad where the data that u use on it is being limited to a certain amount of GBs.

    Your better off just getting a wifi version of the iPad. Because you will be home using it, if you have a iPad data unlimited data plan, keep the iPad if not get the wifi version.
  9. infantrytrophy macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    Your have a point, at least for now. But plans are changing very quickly, mostly in responses to competition from TMobile.

    Non-contract plans with large data allowances are now being offered at attractive prices, much better than just a few months ago. My wife and I share a plan on AT&T, recently upgraded (for free) to 20 GB per month for our two phones and two iPads. This is plenty for us to freely use cellular data on the iPads when we travel, knowing that we are unlikely to exceed the allowance, not even close. We can even stream a Netflix movie once and a while; plenty of data allowance for that - plus checking email, reading forums, checking bank account and so on.

    Using cellular data can frequently be faster and more reliable than wi-fi. Yes, wi-fi is widely available, but it is frequently slow and unreliable, especially in hotels. I usually use cellular data rather than wi-fi for this reason. More importantly, cellular networks are more secure - I have no qualms about accessing my bank account on a cellular network, but I would never do this on a public wi-fi network.

    And things are changing rapidly, changing all the time. I suspect that a year or two from now we will routinely see low-cost cellular plans with 20, 30 or even 50 GB data allowances per month. Plus, Apple is upsetting the cellular carriers' applecart (pun intended) with regard to locking devices to networks. I predict that future iPads will be carrier-independent - you can use them any any network you choose, with no contracts. That means that you can take advantage of promotions and new offers at any time.

    I carry (in my iPad's case) an already-activated (and free!) T-Mobile SIM. I activated the SIM so that I can get 250 MB of data per month, for free. No strings attached - no contract. Not a lot of data, but still free. And I can get free data internationally using this SIM when I travel to Europe. What's not to like?

    If you want to save a few dollars with a wi-fi only iPad, that's a reasonable choice. But I see great value in cellular-capable iPads and will continue to use them.
  10. TECHNOLOGE macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2014
    I see, if u barely use the iPad and a shared data plan would be good for you, then by all means, it makes sense to do that. I was coming from a stand point of someone that always uses his iPad, like where ever i go my iPad goes with me, i like to have the ability to go online and do what i want when i want to.

    As data consumption continues to explode, yes there will be more attractive data plans out there that will fit peoples needs, but it will be at a cost and i do mean alot, in order to supply the demand, i would of recommended purchasing a iPad Data Unlimited Plan but you dont really need it, so i think the option that you presented which bee good based on what u described.
  11. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    If we go that vein, then there's no point in having a smartphone either unless you have an unlimited data plan.

    I would definitely LOVE unlimited data, but at the same time, I've found that in real world use I can get by pretty decently with a GB or two per month on cellular, as long as I'm also comibining it wifi usage at home and at work. And that cellular usage is something I've gotten used to, and I think is definitely worth having. YMMV of course.
  12. t76turbo macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2012
    I had a cellular ipad3 and when I got my Air, I got wifi only. Worst case I can tether it to my iphone which is not unlimited. But if it is THAT important that I just absolutely have to look at it on the ipad at that very moment, I am sure it will not put me over my data limit as it would be a one time thing.

    Otherwise I can just wait till I get home or look at the site on my iphone.
  13. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    What plan is that? If you are talking about the 200 MB "free for life", it does not include international data (not even at 2G speed as some of T-Mobile's monthly plans do).
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    If you can tether and have a decent data package on your iPhone then the only reason to have a cellular iPad would be for the gps chip. If you don't need that then wifi only is the way to go.
  15. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Same here. We had unlimited data. Before I opted out I carefully reviewed a year or more of bills. I personally never use more than 1GB/mo, usually much less. My wife and younger son are the heavy users, good for maybe 2-2.5GB/mo between the two of them. So for all four of us, which includes 5 phones, four iPads and a Touch, we never go over 4GB/mo and our bill went down a good bit from our old unlimited plan.

    You just need to be sure that you're not going to be streaming YT videos or sports events on cellular data. :eek:
  16. emuyshondt macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    One other 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.

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