My decision on 3g vs Wifi only

Discussion in 'iPad' started by msduncan, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. msduncan macrumors 6502

    Jan 27, 2010
    I know a lot of people are struggling with this decision as well, so I thought I'd post my decision process that had me arrive at getting the Wifi only version of this device:

    1. Price -- $130 extra plus service charges when you want to activate it for a month.

    2. Tethering -- I jail broke my iphone for tethering. It was quick, easy and didn't cause me any problems. Now I can use my phone as a wireless router in the rare cases that I do need internet access where I would have used 3G service. This eliminates the need for emergency or nice to have 3G service. I can still get on by tethering in those instances.

    3. Lack of a camera. I know this sounds strange at first, but think about it: A camera + GPS would have been very powerful for augmented reality applications and would likely have had me buying the 3g version. Due to the camera being missing for this generation, there will be no augmented reality applications. At best you will be missing out on the ability to use the ipad as a GPS device, and minor things like location based tweets and weather. I can hold out for this until I upgrade to gen 2 or gen 3 when they have a camera included.

    So there you have it. I'm going to purchase the 64GB Wifi version. I'm actually even listening to some people arguing that you won't need 64GB in the first gen, but I have a feeling some of the apps made for this device will take more room than the iphone based apps because it has more horsepower to be able to handle them. Therefore, I'm still leaning towards the 64GB flavor.

    March 29th can't get here soon enough. :cool:
  2. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    I find MyWi's battery to be way too much of a battery suck, even for use in a pinch.

    I was leaning toward the 3G version, but as prep/experiment, I JB my 3GS a few days ago and installed MyWi. I found it practically useless unless the iPhone was plugged in. As in, a few minutes and I was down 40%. And since you can't plug an iPhone into an iPad (clever Apple...) this is a problem.

    Plus, traveling internationally, using an iPhone's data plan (via tethering) is extremely cost prohibitive. That means swapping in a local sim, worrying about forwarding calls from my regular number, etc.

    So, back to the 3G version for me.
  3. AJsAWiz macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2007
    Having to (possibly) get another data plan with AT&T made up my mind for me. So, I'll be going WiFi only :eek:
  4. msduncan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 27, 2010
    I understand your point, but can't you get the wall adapter for the cable? Plug the phone into the wall and tether from your hotel room. Surely the battery would last long enough while you were away from a wall plug to be fine?

    You are dead on with your international problem though. Sounds like the 3G version might be right for you.
  5. tuhoops macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2008
    How can you tether? It would be like tethering an iPhone to another this possible? I know you can jailbreak and tether to a laptop, but with the iPhone OS allow this?
  6. msduncan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 27, 2010
    Hmm... this is something I haven't considered. Do you think the ipad will be incapable of tethering to an iphone?
  7. Bytor65 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2010
    Wifi all the way.

    I don't have to have internet everywhere. I will use it at home 95% of the time so home wifi.

    Even on vacation, I will use wifi hotspots at airports/hotels/cafes.

    So I save on the $130 hardware cost and I save on not having a 3G data plan.

    I guess I am not as obsessed about being always connected as most people.
  8. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    Ok officially, the iPhone can not tether to the iPad.

    If you jailbreak, you can install a program called MyWi which allows you to create a Wifi hotspot wherever. Your iPad will be able to connect to that.

    However, as people have said, MyWi drains your battery ridiculous.

    That being said, I'd rather spend the $130 now and have it when I need it then to use up my iPhone battery. I will be getting the 3G 32GB iPad :).
  9. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    The answer depend on how often you think you will be needing 3G.

    Most folks won't carry iPad everywhere they go, particularly if they have an iPhone already.

    At home or at work, I can just use WiFi (my work PC doesn't have WiFi, so I will need to buy a USB WiFi dongle).

    Travel is the only situation where I may desire 3G, but that happens only few weeks out of the year. I can exercise restraint and enjoy vacation with my family, use iPhone, and/or leech off of hotel/restaurant WiFi.

    If I traveled for business or frequent traveler, I would definitely get iPad 3G instead of MiFi. iPad 3G data plan is extremely cheap and contract free.
  10. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002

    The problem is that I don't always have access to a wall, let alone one with a power outlet :D Seriously, when I travel, in-hotel is usually not the issue (most have wifi these days anyway). It's "literally on-the-go" that's an issue, and I find myself in that state frequently when I travel.

    BTW MyWi is such a big drain that I believe that even if the iPhone is plugged in the power still drains when using it. :eek:
  11. CrAkD macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    im still up in the air. However I had planned to go the myfi route. I guess it all depends on how much money I have when i goto buy it lol. Also theres no way to use gps on the wifi version? There isnt a GPS chip in ipod touches? I havent really kept track of this as my car has built in GPS so I've never even used it on my 3GS.
  12. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    ASAIC the only reason to get 3G is that you know for a fact you will use it. Otherwise its a waste of $.

    I'm getting a WiFi version now, and then whenever a 4G/LTE version ships (2011?) I'll get that model. Hopefully it will be Verizon compatible. I don't see the point of paying $130 for 3G I may or may not use when ATTs 3G network is so narrow. When traveling you may get 3G...or EDGE. Yuk.
  13. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    That's true, but I fear we won't get LTE till 2012 at least.

    I'm gonna spring for the 3G cause I don't want to miss out on any GPS enabled apps. Plus it'll be nice to have it just in case. It's only $100 bucks extra. Instead of being able to spring for 64GB Wifi model, I'll go 32GB 3G.
  14. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    $130 bucks extra. If it gives you piece of mind it's worth it. Personally I can't justify the cost knowing it's a "planned obsolescence" product and I'll want the next version. That is different than how I buy laptops which I know I'm keeping for 3 years.
  15. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    Yeah, I'm hoping I'll get a good 2 years out of it, possibly more.

    Plus. I figure
    $65 - for GPS
    $65 - for 3G

    Not too bad :). I really like the idea of being in the car having Google Maps, or Tom Tom for a 10" screen up with a passenger checking out what's around and stuff. I can see that being super awesome.
  16. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    I definitely assign some of the $130 to the value (as a user) of GPS. However, do we know yet whether GPS will work without a data plan in place?
  17. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    Ok I can neither confirm nor deny how the GPS will work in the iPad.

    However, I currently have an unlocked iPhone 3G running firmware 3.0.1. I have a Vodafone NL SIM in there that I got on my trip to Amsterdam this past October. It is currently locked and I can't use any of the phone features. (I lost the receipt). Point is I have no cell service on there.

    In fact, I also removed the SIM completely.

    I connected this to my home network via Wifi (cause you obviously need a data connection to download the Google Map tiles).

    And in both instances, the GPS worked perfectly and located me.

    Now, whether that would happen due to the WIFI or what I can not say. But with the iPhone 3G it pin pointed me with the blue dot not the big circle that happens on the original iPhone, and I would take that as the GPS is working.
  18. thejakill macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2005
    16 gig wifi. Going cheap on this one. Already have 3gs so I don't need the 3g ipad. Won't be putting any music on it. Maybe a few photos and a few games, couple of movies at the most. I'm a big syncher so I think 16 gigs will do me fine.

    Don't plan on this being my last ipad, so in a couple of years, the upgrade will be awesome.

    Waiting with bated breath for that email, Apple...
  19. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I'm going the WiFi plus Verizon MiFi route. I got tired of giving money to AT&T... :p
  20. jazz1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    On #1 you think there will be a service charge every time you buy a month of service if you don't keep the service? Geez that is almost as bad as a contract.

  21. SteveSparks macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    St. Louis, MO.
    I like the idea if Wifi only but the option to go contract less for 30 days makes me think a 3g version would be nice..
  22. TurboSC macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2007
    I see no need to give AT&T any more of my money, seeing as their service is still ****** years after the iPhone release... I'm going with wifi. :cool:
  23. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    That is sort of my thinking too. If I do get an iPad I can't really justify the 3G version and paying $60 a month for two seperate plans.

    I am hoping that AT&T offers some kind of solution that makes this more palatable for iPhone users.
  24. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Really? I can run my Pre in wifi tethering mode for 3 hours (actually a hair over, about 3:15) on the stock battery, and it's widely acknowledged that the Pre's battery is it's biggest weakness.

    For half the price of the 3G option I can get a battery for my Pre which is about 120% more capacity, so should be able to tether for a solid 7 hours without plugging in. Plus, my Dell mini can use the wifi AP. I'll let you guess which option I'm choosing. :p
  25. yoppie macrumors 6502a

    Oct 19, 2007
    A bit off topic but what does ASAIC stand for?

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