Used iPad 2 with unlimited data plan worth the purchase?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Qzuelic, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Qzuelic macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2008
    Hi all,

    Been looking to buy an iPad 2, and have decided to go with the 64gb size, but on the fence for whether to do 3g or wifi. I will use it for work (and have wifi at home and work), but will be on the road some times without wifi and have thought about tethering when needed.

    However, I recently came across someone who was selling their iPad 2, 64 3g with att. However, they are selling the iPad with their att unlimited data account to go with it for about $800. I was informed that the current owner had dropped and shattered the screen, and it was replaced by Apple recently. The serial number he gave showed that Applecare is good until March 20, 2012 and is eligible for extended coverage. Of course, if I meet up to look at it, I will verify the serial number is the same and the condition of the iPad.

    My question is whether this would be a worthwhile purchase, and if there is a way to verify that they actually have the unlimited data plan.

    If this one doesn't work out, I will most likely buy a new one - still deciding between wifi and 3g.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  2. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2010
    It has been easily transferable in the past. I sold my unlimited chip from my ipad1 for $400 soon after the ipad 2 came out. just have to do transfer setups on the new ipad. not sure what the unl chips are selling for now. check ebay.if you use more than 2gb data a month it could be worth it.
  3. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Perhaps I'm being dense here and my carrier is Verizon rather than AT&T so perhaps I don't know about an "unlimited" data plan for the iPad on AT&T or how it could be "sold." Perhaps the former owner has a grandfathered data plan that was applied to the iPad. If so, that would mean you're responsible for a monthly charge (no month by month cancellation) for the duration of the contract. Depending on the monthly charge and the susceptibility to AT&T's "throttling" for "unlimited" data plans, that might or might not be a good deal. I'm skeptical.

    As for 3G vs wifi, there are numerous threads that outline the advantages of each. If you expect to need 3G connectivity only infrequently (on average less than once a month) but you still need it once in awhile, you're better off with the iPad 3G and a $30 per month "cancellable" plan. If you want GPS functionality (with or without 3G service) you'll want a 3G iPad.

    All in all, a 3G iPad with a standard month by month plan is the simplest and probably cheapest approach and you get GPS as a freebie.

    On the other hand, if you want 4G connectivity, especially the ultra-fast 4G/LTE connectivity Verizon offers (much faster and more widely available than AT&T); expect to use more than 2Gig per month on a regular basis; and/or need to connect multiple devices (e.g. laptop + iPad) you may be better off with a wifi only iPad and a mobile hotspot.

    Since I need cell-based access for my laptop on an ongoing basis, I use 3G/4G more than once a month on my iPad, and I have a GPS enabled smartphone, I don't need a 3G iPad. I use a mobile hotspot from Verizon that gives me 5Gig per month for $50 on a two year contract. And when I'm in a 4G service area (which is most of the time) I get internet access speeds about 10 times faster than 3G.
  4. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    I doubt you would need "unlimited" data, unless you are never around wifi and you just watch YouTube videos on it. I just have the minimum package and try to be frugal when no wifi is available.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    If transferrable, maybe.

    Few hours of audio streaming each day would use up 2GB of data per month.
  6. OlgaJ macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2009
    If you get the unlimited used ipad 2, you will have to pay a monthly fee month after month. I think it's $50.

    Your alternative 3G is 2GB for $25 and only when you need it. You don't have to pay month after month. You can get it when you need it, and stop it if you don't.

    I use 3G on my iPad2 3 or 4 times a year. If 2GB isn't enough for me, I renew it again for another $25; you don't have to wait for a whole month to go by. Overall I still pay less than a recurring $50 per month.

    So do your math.
  7. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    It's $30, not $50, monthly.

    OP, I say go for it. You can always sell the SIM later if you change your mind. They are only getting more rare and are valued.
  8. OlgaJ macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2009
    Thanks for the info. With my usage, I'm still better off with the "as needed" 2G for $25 plan.
  9. Qzuelic thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2008
    Thanks for the input. I am definitely leaning towards getting it, and have scheduled a time to meet and take a look at it. Like you mentioned, the worst case scenario is that if it doesn't work out, I should be able to sell the sim and pocket a little bit of money.

    I would be buying the iPad to test as a tool for work and if it helps me out the way I hope, the cost of the iPad and monthly charges would be well worth the investment over the long run.

    My only gripe is that the iPad isn't the color that I had wanted, but think that I should be able to live with it. :D
  10. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Completely subjective -- as is any question on worth. If it wasn't then we'd all have the exact same device and the same data plan.
  11. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Consider setting up your meeting right at an AT&T store. That should be a very easy way to verify the unlimited plan and make the transfer on the spot if you decide to buy.

    As to color, buy a bumper, skin, shell, etc. It's good to do that for some added protection anyway. In many cases, you can get any color you want- including many beyond black & white.

    And do check pricing on Ebay, craigslist & similar. Almost every 3G 64GB iPad 2 I see for sale is priced below $800. Yes, that grandfathered unlimited plan has some value, but maybe you can use the abundance of cheaper pricing to get yourself a better price than $800.
  12. NikeTalk macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2010
    It's on a case by case basis like others have mentioned. I was able to get one for $300 and it has paid off as I am not always around WiFi. Mainly due to Pandora, Netflix, HBO Go, texting apps, YouTube, and others. I would recommend it and like others have said there are fewer out there now so it's more valuable.
  13. cinca macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    I just replied to another post that I think 3G makes a big difference in *terms of the usefulness of an iPad (versus getting a wifi version). *I would expend the comment and say that if you can get an unlimited 3g it would be well worth it if you plan on using it 'out and about'. *I know for me (unlimited user) it's nice to not have to worry about data caps and what not... *If 90% of your use is going to be at home around a wifi hotspot you are already paying for then might not be worth it. *Good luck.*
  14. Qzuelic thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2008
    I appreciate all of the comments from everyone. Today I am officially an iPad 2 owner. My goal was to find one and see what kind of use I get out of it, mostly for work - and if it wasn't that good for work to resell it. However, I'm sure I'll find plenty of things that it can do that will benefit me that I never considered.

    This was purchased off of craigslist and I was a little cautious the whole time from some the things the seller had said over email. We met at the food court in the mall, and the seller was not what I had expected. Very knowledgable with the iPad (actually works for a local electronics retailer - not just something he told me, but something I verified as well). We negotiated on price and I asked if he wanted to exchange money there. He tossed a clip on the table and said here was fine. :) Maybe he was worried about me trying to steal it.

    Anyway, checked the serial numbers, sound, wifi, 3g, no dead pixels that I could see, mic worked, image rotated, included the charger and it was an iPad 2 with 64 gb of memory. He logged into his att account and I changed everything to my account for the unlimited data. I was even able to get some free apps through the process as well.

    One of my good friends has a nephew who works for the same electronics store and asked if he happened to know him. Turns out they work together and are good friends. Feel better about my purchase already.

    Again, thanks to everyone for their comments/thoughts.
  15. dustinl4m3 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    I had the iPad1 w/ unlimited data and when I got the iPad2, I transferred the plan and have unlimited on the 2.

    I guess I don't understand how you'll get to keep the unlimited plan going forward. When I gave my mother my old iPad, and put the billing in her name, she only was able to sign up for a limited plan. The "unlimited data" is tied to my at&t account, not the device.

    Once you set up your CC on the iPad, I just don't see how you'll get to keep unlimited.

    Maybe you can clarify now that you actually have the device in your possession?
  16. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    It follows the SIM card.
  17. Qzuelic thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2008
    sbddude is correct. You would go into settings, cellular data and then user account. Here you can change everything on the account - new email, password, name, address, credit card, etc. I changed everything over to my info and double checked the account and everything is good. Still lists as an unlimited account.

    Hope this helps.
  18. blue5ft3 macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2011
    Phasing them out?

    I'm new here Hi! and ne expert but I was told the unlimited versions were being done away with and the tiered plan forced upon us. LMK Thanks Donna
  19. dustinl4m3 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    I see. I did swap SIMs (placing the new iPad2 sim in the iPad1 for my mother, and my old SIM in the new 2). Entirely forgot about that-thanks

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