Thinking of returning iPad 3 (AT&T version) for a Wifi version...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ethana, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. ethana macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    ... here's why:

    - AT&T has no hotspot on launch.
    - AT&T has no LTE in Seattle until at least the fall (that's where I live).
    - Neither carrier can do FaceTime over LTE, so Verizon doesn't work for me either.
    - The cost savings is high if I switch to Wifi.

    I initially got the AT&T iPad 3 because we have an AT&T plan for our iPhones.

    I travel a lot lately and staying connected with my family at home is important with FaceTime. I'm going to be in Phoenix for Spring Training (baseball, for you non-sports people) and the house I'm staying at is in an AT&T LTE area but no Wifi. I'm just really frustrated that this brand new LTE iPad won't be able to do two of the MAIN things I bought it for:

    - LTE Hotspot for others in the house
    - FaceTime over LTE.

    Just wanted to post my frustrations with this. Anyone else caught in a similar feeling?
  2. Sylon macrumors 68020


    Feb 26, 2012
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    So wait, even though 4G is famed for really high data speeds, you still can't use Facetime over it? For a lot of people, 4G is faster than wifi.

    Does Tango work on the iPad? Tango does video calls over 3G.
  3. marzxbarz macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2009
    I went WiFi only because that unspent $129 will go towards a 4G LTE iPhone in the distant future. Once that comes out, I'll hope for a jailbreak for tethering capability :)

    For me, I don't see myself using the iPad outside much, but I can understand why people would want/need it.
  4. Recon73 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2012
    United States
    I ordered wifi model also. I can hotspot my 4G phone so no need for the LTE model.
  5. beret9987 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm actually deciding about the other way around. I bought a wifi iPad 3 and was thinking about jumping onto the AT&T model. I like the fact it has an unlocked SIM slot for global traveling and also, I find AT&T's HSPA+ network to be excellent in Seattle(It's like my second home) and it has built-in GPS. Granted though, I already have a tethering plan through AT&T so I could just save the 130 and put it towards a new LTE iPhone as someone stated earlier... Oh the decisions.
  6. 1080p macrumors 68030


    Mar 17, 2010
    Planet Earth
    I frequently visit Seattle (Hope to relocate there soon... live in AZ) and my AT&T iPhone 4S had horrible HSPA+ performance there back in January. Slow connections and horrible battery life up and down the I-5 corridor.

    Anyway... I actually got the Verizon LTE iPad to give my iPhone a boost. If I am getting slow data with iPhone, I'll turn on the free Verizon hotspot on iPad and connect my iPhone.
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You can tether without jailbreaking, you know?

    I went wifi only on my first iPad because even though I'm not always near wireless (airports where you pay a few bucks if you want it), I find that I don't want to give any more to a data plan than I already do.
  8. djransom macrumors 68040


    May 14, 2008
    I decided against the 4G AT&T LTE iPad as well. Not worth the $130 and I can just tether from my iPhone because if I have my iPad with me then my iPhone is right there as well.
  9. iosuser macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2012
    This is the first time I even contemplated getting my iPad with 3G/4G, but I decided to save the $130 when I ordered. My 4S with AT&T is getting excellent speeds between 5-8Mbps. I'm grandfathered unlimited, but being that unlimited effectively means 3GB/mo now (you get throttled when you reach 3GB), I might consider going to the legit tethering plan for 5GB/mo for $50, which is not too unreasonable.

    I bought QuaiDisk from the app store while it lasted. Works great with the computer, but too bad it won't work with the iPad. I can get it to work on the iPad if I create the ad-hoc connection on the computer first, but without the ability to create the ad-hoc connection on the i-device itself I can't reconnect after I close the connection. Not very practical.
  10. Techyg macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2012
    I was thinking the same but decided to stick to the wifi only. My iPad 1 was wifi only as well. Quite frankly, I don't see myself using 4g as I can tether (with iphone).

    I decided to spend the extra $ on getting more storage instead.
  11. JPamplin macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    Nashville, TN

    For you (the OP), if $130 in savings is significant, then the $20-50 per month you'd have to spend on 4G would also be significant, so yes, go ahead and return it for a Wifi model.

    Think about it. Most of the time that you're going to be in a position to use an iPad, you'll also probably be near Wifi. Not all the time, but most of the time. Either you're at work, or at a friend / family's home, or your home, or perhaps a coffee shop. When you want to sit down and use your device, chances are Wifi will be available.

    Exceptions: If you're driving in a car constantly, and you need a data-enabled device larger than your phone, then the 4G model is perfect for that. If you're in areas that don't provide free Wifi, and you HAVE to be online (airports would be a good example), then yes, same thing.

    But please, PLEASE DO NOT get the AT&T model. I pre-ordered a 32GB 4G AT&T on Day 1 (Mar. 7), and I'm getting my unit tomorrow. BUT I called them back on March 8 and swapped out the AT&T model, opting instead for a Verizon model. Just look at the networks - the difference in coverage is startling:
  12. iosuser macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2012
    I don't know nor care much about 4G LTE at this point, but regular 3G speed (never mind the bogus "4G" indicator on the ATT iPhone now) ATT is much faster than Verizon. My friend stopped by last night with his newly acquired Motorola Razr. He was very quick to claim his Moto "kicks @ss". I'm not the type to brag or put down others, but I said OK lets do some head to head. Pulled Speedtest app. I was at 6Mbps on my "3G" connection, he got a lousy 1.5 on his Verizon "LTE" :confused: Pulled up some websites like, each time my ATT 4S pulled it up much more quickly.
  13. Peanut207 macrumors 6502


    Mar 2, 2010
    Fring app, if you want to FaceTime over 3G and now 4G. ;)
  14. LocoStrange macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010
    Im debating still. ATT LTE isnt too bad in my area in Chicago but I didnt preorder so I guess I will have to wait a few more weeks.
  15. kmichalec macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    If you want to do video chats over 3G, I second the recommendation for Tango. Works very well. Supports PUSH, so you know when a call is coming in from someone, and even has the ability to leave a video message if the person isn't available. If you travel, and want to do video on the go, this is how I would do it. I barely use Facetime anymore because of the WiFi restriction.
  16. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Weird - I was in Seattle a few months ago, and my coverage was great on my AT&T iPhone 4S.

    I always go with the iPad that offers me the option of a data plan. I can't count on always being in a wifi area when I travel, and to me, the extra $130 up front is more than worth the ability to connect when I need to. But everyone's needs are different, and if you find you never need your iPad when you aren't in a wifi area, then it makes sense to go with wifi only.


    By the way, it is possible that in the near future, AT&T will allow the hotspot thing - news is that they are talking about it.

    And Facetime may indeed be opened up to LTE in the future.
  17. ipoddin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I've been debating whether to go iPad with lte or wifi only. Not sure it's worth the extra $130 + data fees. Wifi is prevelant where I go. And if I find myself somewhere without wifi, my iPhone is always with me so I can still check and send email, Facebook, twitter, book a flight, reserve a table, do a google search, pull up a web page, text, etc, etc on that.

    I've had the iPad 1 and 2 wifi only and can't think of many times I wished I had data, though I'm sure there have been a few occasions. LTE speeds are tempting, but I still keep going back to the argument about always having my iPhone with me and it's constant connection.
  18. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010

    Just get a 4g standalone MiFi hotspot, and Face time away from your wifi iPad connected through that hotspot.

    Here's an interesting question though: Can an iPhone connected to an LTE iPad in hotspot mode Facetime? It would appear to be on WiFi, so facetime should work, no? Or, did they ad enough smarts to know it's not regular WiFi, but tethered WiFi, and enforce all the stupid restrictions?

    Seems dumb to me that they have these restrictions. If you are willing to eat up the data you pay for at whatever cellular connection speed you have, why should Apple stop you?
  19. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    On a side note, we are getting LTE here with AT&T? I could have sworn I saw some article about AT&T expanding and it didn't show Seattle as one of the spots?

    Where do you find that they are bringing LTE here? (It's not that important to me honestly unless they force me to lose my grandfathered plan and get an LTE plan when the new iphone comes out).
  20. iBighouse macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2012
    While I don't need to connect to 4G when I get mine (as I'll be in wi-fi access areas mostly) there may be times when I may need to connect to a 3G or 4G I'm leaning to getting the LTE model.

    That, and the fact that you can't have GPS or "find my iPad" without the 4G model. The Wifi model, as I understand it, doesn't have GPS. And, without GPS, I'm wondering when (and if) Siri gets full implementation that you might be limited in the way things like reminders might work.

    I don't like the big black plastic portion on the aluminium case for the LTE models though...
  21. ClarkWGrizwald macrumors member

    May 19, 2010
    Does anyone actually CONSIDER and RESEARCH a product before placing down your hard earned money? SMH... It is 2012 people... We live in the age of google.. Buyers remorse before an item is even shipped???? unbelievable..
  22. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    If you find that you ever need data, the iPad has great resell value. I'm frugal.
  23. note235 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2007
    I live in Seattle and my 4S speeds are 5-7mbs
    U District i just use the campus wifi lol
    but i opted for the Verizon model bc of LTE, my mom plans on using it in the summer and need be i can sim swap my ATT to the iPad.

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