iPad Will AT&T subsidize iPad Air?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Macwick, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Macwick macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    Sorry, this is probably a basic question. I'm thinking of picking up a 3G iPad Air on Nov 1st.

    I already have a Mobile Share plan, and my understanding is that it costs $10/month to add a tablet.

    Question is - if I buy an Air from AT&T and add it to my Mobile Share plan (presumably with some kind of contract) will they subsidize the purchase price of the iPad at all? It looks like they do this for current generation iPads.

  2. robertpetry macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    Yes. I am also on a mobile share plan and they do give you a $100 discount if you sign a 2 year agreement for data. At $10 per month to add the iPad it is a pretty good deal in my opinion. Basically 30% off the data. You are stuck with AT&T thought but that may not be a big deal. I am not planning on going anywhere anyway and we can change plans later. You just need to continue service.

    BTW, it is an iPad Air LTE, not 3G. :) Lots faster than 3G trust me.
  3. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Bad deal. A measly $100 discount isn't worth the lock-in. The iPad Air is available via the AT&T Next program. Given it's still just $10 per month for service (as a Mobile Share add-on) whether you get the 2-year contract or amortize the cost of the tablet via AT&T Next, obviously, I'd recommend getting it via AT&T Next.
  4. Macwick, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    Macwick thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    Comparing AT&T Next with the 2 year contract gives me a headache.

    Consider a 32GB LTE iPad Air:

    Two year contract:

    $100 discount, but must purchase $240 of data over two years (assuming $10/month for the Mobile Share add-on).

    Total purchase price: $629
    Total data price (2 years): $240
    Ownership: At the end of two years YOU own the device and can sell it.

    AT&T next:

    Total purchase price: *$34/month for 20 months = $680
    Total data price (2 years): $240
    Ownership: At the end of 20 months AT&T owns the device so you can't sell it (just trade it in for new model).

    Am I missing something or is AT&T Next a horrible deal? I guess the only other benefit of Next is that you can upgrade after 12 months.

    Edit: I see that with AT&T Next you get to keep the device after 20 months. However the 2 year contract number still looks better unless you plan to upgrade your iPad within 12 months?
  5. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    AT&T Next is basically a 0% 20-month financing on the iPad. You pay it off, and the iPad is yours. However, it gives you greater flexibility in terms of upgrades and you don't have to pay an activation fee.

    iPad Air 32GB 4G+WiFi

    AT&T 2-year contract
    Upfront Cost: $629 + taxes
    Activation Fee: $36 (included in first month's bill)
    Data Plan Cost: $10/month for 24 months = $240
    Total Cost: $905
    Early Termination Fee: $150 (minus $4 per month of completed service)
    Upgrade Option:
    1 year - need to buy new device at full price
    Ownership: Yours

    AT&T Next
    Upfront Cost: taxes
    Device Amortization: $36.50/month for 20 months = $730
    Data Plan Cost: $10/month for 24 months = $240 (although you really only need to keep it for 20 months or $200)
    Total Cost: $970
    Early Termination Fee: None (loan balance due upon service cancellation)
    Upgrade Option:
    1 year - trade-in and get new contract (bad deal); or pay off remaining balance and get new contract (this is what I'd do)
    Ownership: Yours after paying off the balance

    So you're basically saving just $65 by locking yourself to a 2-year contract. No upgrade flexibility and you're even on the hook for a $150 ETF. While you're better off going with traditional 2-year contracts on smartphones, for me, the cons far outweigh the measly $65 savings you get going on contract. AT&T Next is kind of like buying a prepaid iPad, just without the huge upfront cost. :p
  6. Deacon-Blues macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    I considered getting the cellular version, but it is so easy to set my iPhone up as a mobile hot spot for my iPad, and I don't have to pay $10/mo for the privilege.
  7. jercdevil macrumors newbie


    Jun 4, 2012
    Would like to know how this is done. Do's the iphone need to be jailbroken?
  8. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY

    If you have an AT&T share plan, you get tethering for free.

    Very simple:
    On the phone, in System Settings, turn on mobile hotspot.
    On the iPad, turn on Bluetooth, and choose your iPhone to pair.
    Click confirmation buttons on both devices.

    That's it!
  9. robertpetry macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    We'll that probably makes sense for a lot of people. Not really for me I don't think. I already have multiple phones on contract for 23 more months so we aren't going anywhere. Since I already have an active iPad number I am upgrading to I was told there was no upgrade fee. I probably won't buy iPad 6 (I just sold my iPad 3 and I skipped the 4). But if I did Want too I still could just go buy one and put it on my number and continue to fulfill my contract. I just I wouldn't get a subsidy. I don't get a subsidy with either plan so no difference. Sure I could pay the full price over two years but I could just buy it now, save $100 and not increase my phone bill. Whatever.

    Seems like a good enough deal for me.

Share This Page