Whats a better investment, extra capacity or cellular version?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Gregintosh, Mar 2, 2012.


Whats a better investment?

  1. Cellular Data

    69 vote(s)
  2. Extra Capacity

    85 vote(s)
  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Every year I tell myself I need more space so I opt for the 32GB version of the iPad, and every year I don't come close to filling it up or taking advantage of it.

    This year, being an iTunes Match subscriber, there's even less justification for me than I had before to go 32GB over 16GB. I am sure a lot of users here are in the same boat.

    After using an iPad for a year or two, its no longer a new device for us and we already know our own patterns of usage. However, the retina thing has me a bit worried. If Apps grow too large maybe they will fill in the space quickly.

    (As a side note, any idea of how much apps grew in size for the iPhone %-wise after upgrades to retina?)

    So the question is, if I am going to spend the extra $100 (or $129), is it better spent on a 32GB version that ensures I got enough space for everything or the 3G/Cellular version which ensures that I can always use the cloud to access something if I really need it.

    I wonder how other people will decide on this issue. Does iCloud/iTunes Match mean you can save yourself the $100 this year, or is it better to spring for the extra capacity and/or cellular access.
  2. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    I tether

    I never used my iPad 3G with a SIM card.

    If I need a network connection and don't have WiFi, I use my phone as a hotspot.
  3. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Go wifi

    If you think about it, you always have your phone on you.

    iPad is usually when you are cozy in bed with WiFi on.

    iPad is portable but do you really bring it everywhere? Don't be that guy.
  4. SteveAbootman macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2008
    This is a great poll question. I doubt I'd ever pay each month for 3g access, but there have been a number of times I've had my iPad and wished for a signal with wifi either being unavailable or behind a paywall.

    I got the 32gb original iPad and like the OP have not even come close to filling it. So I have been tossing around the idea of getting a 16gb + 3g.

    And just for the sake of keeping things relevant, imagine you can't tether your phone.
  5. Lukeyy19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    England, UK
    I've got my iPhone with unlimited data on me anyway so if i do need to use data on my iPad on the rare occasion i take it outside the house, i can just tether it, so I'm spending the money on more capacity
  6. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Here in Canada, we have pretty decent data plans for tablets, besides the prepaid ones.

    For example, on Rogers, there's a data plan that starts at $7, which granted only gives 10MB of data, but if you go over it "flexes" to a $17 plan, for 250MB, and if you go over that it goes to $37 for 5GB. But it always starts at the $7, so if you don't use it one month, then it's quite cheap to have the just in case factor. Also that plan is LTE compatible, so you're not paying a premium for LTE.

    I think I'm gonna go for the 3G version when the 3 comes out. Only real reason is because I get a discount for working for Rogers...so I don't pay full price. :D For $18 a month I get 5GB of data...I think that's quite a good deal.
  7. ohio.emt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    It all depends upon your needs. I only went with the 3G due at first I didn't have internet at work or my parents house so it came in handy for me. As far as I can tell all versions have a good used market.
  8. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    Cellular, due to GPS capabilities, and in case you're in between iPhone upgrades or something and are without tethering.

    The iPad 3 will be my first 3G iPad, my other ones were WiFi only. I never thought I'd be without my iPhone and tethering, but I sold the phone in preparation for a new model launch at WWDC, and you know how that turned out lol. I was stuck months with a dumb phone. Never again!
  9. thefreeagent macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2010
    New Mexico
    Cellular Connectivity, All the Way!

    At least, that's as far as I'm concerned. I've bought both my iPads (1&2) with 3G capability, and it's been a life saver. More often than one might think. Plus, the added benefit of GPS makes a HUGE difference for me personally.

    Additionally, I have helped buy iPads for each of my parents, and for my brother and sister, and have insisted that they be WiFi+3G, even when it was thought that they'd never need/want to use it. In every case, it turns out, the need has arisen for each of my family members to use 3G, and they've all said how happy they were to have the option.

    This is obviously just a personal preference, but for me the idea of having an iPad that can't connect wherever I am, whenever I might need or want to, is not actually that appealing. I'm a graduate student, I work, and I commute. Basically, I'm one of those people who uses the iPad all the time, on the go, and in many different situations, so for me cellular connectivity is an absolute must.
  10. number84 macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2011
    for me it's more do i pay extra for the 3G version? i always planned to get the 16Gb. my iPad 2 only filled up once and it was just cuz i installed a bunch of games when EA had them for 99 cents...but i never really did play them much.

    i am one of the unfortunate ones that cannot tether as i have a company issued blackberry that is locked down, so there are definitely times where i would like to have the iPad connected. still debating...might end up with whatever they have in stock when i get to the store.
  11. ant69 macrumors regular


    Feb 2, 2009
    The iPad 3 will be my first iPad and i will probably keep it for a couple of generations till i replace it so for my i want to buy the best i can - both 64gig (assuming that's the biggest capacity available) and 3G..... if I'm keeping a device for a couple of years i don't want any regrets.

  12. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    I went with cellular data, but I guess it really depends. When I first got my iPad I didn't have a smartphone. So having a data plan as well as GPS came in very handy. Now that I have an iPhone those things are not as necessary to have on an iPad. I also have used only about 7 GB of data and have over 6 unused, so I certainly do not need the extra storage.
  13. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    With wifi so prevalent where I live, I would never buy a cellular equipped iPad. ATT makes enough money from me already and I refuse to pay another fee for Internet access- Cablevision and ATT bills are enough.
  14. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    1) No consumer good should be considered an investment. Investments are made with the goal of getting a return on your money when you sell or the term expires. You are spending money. I know pols like to call spending "investing," but let's be adults here and call it what it is -- spending. Consumer goods, baring the random one that becomes a collectible, invariably go down in value.

    2) With that in mind, a practical consumer spends as little as possible for the greatest amount of utility. So in your case, what is going to be more useful to you in reality -- not, but IF --. The odds of "but if" coming are slim. Only you know how you use your iPad.

    3) As far as resale value goes, I sold my 32GB iPad 2 WiFi + 3G last week for $550. Non 3G units at the same time seemed to be selling for about $50 less. So, if you are looking for a best "resale to original cost ratio" I'd 3G is more of a money loser. Get it if you need it, but it's not the top value prop when buying new.
  15. mooseknuckles macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2010
    You can always remove high use data items when not in use. (Movies/Photos/Games/Apps). Adding a GPS dongle is expensive and not practical. Adding Cellular capabilities is not possible and tethering drains both items batteries. I have the grandfathered unlimited data on the iPad and I am one who never leaves home without it. As a small business owner, the ability to stay connected is crucial. As a parent, having the ability to be online anytime anywhere when waiting on kids or streaming a program for them is a life saver. Knowing when to shut it all off and enjoy life is most important. My .02, as always YMMV.
  16. Herdfan macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2011
    I'm going to say both! I have a 32G Wi-Fi 1 now. I will be getting hopefully a 64G 3G one when they are released. I need both. We travel a lot going to swim meets. So in the car it is nice to be able for my wife and daughter to be able to access the internet as we drive. Plus many swim meets are held in locations without public Wi-Fi, so that helps also.

    But swim meets can be weekend long endevours, so loading up an iPad with movies and shows really helps pass the time. So instead of a bunch of pre-teen girls up and running all over the place, they sit in one place and watch a movie. Extra space is really valuable in this case.

    So it all comes down to how YOU use an iPad. If it were just me, a 16G Wi-Fi would be fine, but I have other's needs and uses to consider.
  17. GearDriven macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2012
    Gps and pretty much always having data is key for me. I don't tether because it eats batteries on my phone. I have an external gps, but sometimes I don't want to bother with it just to get directions in a car with navigon.
  18. snow blind macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
  19. Q-Dog macrumors 6502


    Sep 9, 2007
    It is NOT an INVESTMENT!! It is a purchase. Purchase the model that best suits your needs.
  20. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Unless you need GPS I really don't see the point in the 3G version any more. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S turn on data tethering from your provider, it's almost always cheaper than getting a second data contract for the iPad. If you don't buy a MiFi or similar wireless hotspot modem. They usually work out cheaper (or at the least the same) as an iPad data plan and have the added benefit of making that data available to any wireless device you have that may want to use it. Plus a lot of them are available on Pay As You Go plans if you only need data on rare occasions (holidays, trips etc) and the only battery you're using on the iPad is for the wireless connection.
  21. scottness macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101
    I have the 3g iPad… only used 3g for one month. Phone works fine when I really need it.
  22. falcora macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2011
    The cellular version is not just an extra $129, it's $129 + $30/month. In one year, your monthly service charges will accumulate to $360, and so bottom line you've spent about $489 for wireless service on your iPad. If you really need internet access everywhere, and your iPhone won't suffice, then go for it. But I would just stick with a 32GB WiFi. Or if you are sure you don't need the space, save yourself a hundred bucks and go with the 16GB
  23. Gorion macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Go with just Wifi - especially since you already have an iPhone.
  24. superfula macrumors 6502

    Mar 17, 2002
    Oh my, such a narrow definition of "investment". In financial terms you are correct, however no one is talking about finance here. A consumer good is an investment if it improves your life. Clothes, appliances, furniture, time spent with family/friends, etc are all investments.
  25. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Your statement is misleading. 3G iPads do not require a data plan to be enabled all the time.

    You can choose to only buy a data block when you need it, and NOT buy it when you don't need it. Also there is a $15/250MB plan which is plenty for a little bit of email/web surfing.

    Also, a fair chunk of that $129 comes back to you in enhanced resale value if you're selling in a year, so it's not a completely sunk cost. Compare ebay sales prices on wifi vs 3G models.

    Finally, that $129 also gets you a real GPS chip rather than wifi geolocation. It makes a nav program useful such as NavFree GPS that stores maps locally and does not need 3G data service to operate.

    Two other comments:

    (1) "investment" is a bad word to use in conjunction with an electronics gadget that's guaranteed to be worth nothing within a few years. Just sayin... :D

    (2) When soliciting opinions as to the "value" of putting your money towards 3G capability or added capacity, remember that everyone puts different value on these things. That $129 (or $100) means something very different to a student or someone fresh out of college just scraping by vs. someone who's making a good living after many years in the workforce and would easily spend that $129 on dinner out with their spouse. Point being, balance the responses against who might be making them.

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