Will iPad 3G work w/o a plan?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ikimasu, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. ikimasu macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2010
    This may be a dumb question, but I don't really know a lot about Apple products (I only own an iPod classic and iPod touch, although my wife has an iMac and MacBook), nor have I yet owned a smart phone even. So cut me a little slack if it is. :)

    Basically I'm definitely going to get an iPad at some point, but I'm not sure yet if I would want/need to fork out for a monthly bill for 3G coverage (though I lean towards the idea that I would like to have it). However, if I buy an only wifi version, I can't ever get 3G obviously. But I didn't know if the 3G version could be used (or even bought) without a plan. Does anyone know if one could purchase and use the iPad 3G without a 3G plan of some sort?
  2. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2010
    London, ON
    3G plan is optional without a contract to iPads that are equipped with a 3G receiver which is an optional feature when the iPad is bought for a $130 option. See keynote address for more details.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The units are identical aside from the 3G system, so I don't know why you'd buy a 3G iPad in order to not use it.
  4. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    A plan is not required. Its basically like the GO phones (month to month you can cancel anytime).
  5. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    You should "ikimasu" and do some research. I bet you would have found your answer.
  6. ikimasu thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Simply to have the option ... basically I think that I would probably want 3G, but I'm not totally sure of that. However, with the wifi only version, I would never even have the choice. If I did decide that I didn't want 3G though, I have to admit - that would suck to have spend the extra money. But I'm willing to risk it as long as I can use it w/o 3G.

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    haha, yes I suppose so ... I did check these forums but I didn't see anything. Can't a man be a little lazy now and then? :D
  7. PorterRocks macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2010
    Yeah, there's no way I would get the 3G version if I was required to purchase data every month. I like that 3G is pay-as-you-go. I only wish the iPhone had the same option.
  8. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I'm buying the 3G model, it's worth having even if you don't use it, mainly because.. you might.
  9. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    Keep in mind the 3G version also has A-GPS, so if you want that, you need the 3G version. Add one of the map products with local maps and you're all set.
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I'm the same way. I'm not going to shell out an extra $15 every month, but I'm wondering if at some point in the next three or whatever years I might need it. Honestly, I'm thinking that instead of spending that $130, I might just buy my uncle a wireless router. It's hard to know what to do. I wish it was only a $50 option, but I know those things aren't cheap.

    Luckily we have a couple of months to decide. If there was a reduced price for iPhone subscribers, maybe $10/month off without a contract, I'd probably drop for the 3G.
  11. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Obviously the Assisted part won't work without Cell service but will the GPS (only) work without 3G? An easy answer: does GPS work on a 3G/3GS iPhone without cell service? I realize Goggle Maps would not (since it needs to download the maps) but what about a program like Navagon?
  12. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    The ATT 3G service is pre-paid, not contract. You can buy service for the months you want it, and deactivate on months you don't. It's like a light switch.
  13. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    The iPhone is available on PAYG, you just need to move somewhere with more flexible networks. ;)
  14. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    Because you might want to use it, someday. You can buy that possibility for $130 without further committment and no downside, and you can fulfill it by opting to pay a monthly, no-contract fee of $15 or $30 per month. IMHO, anyone who even thinks they might want away-from-wifi connectivity ought to drop the extra $130 and buy the capability. They can decide later if they want to execute it.
  15. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Sure there is a downside... you don't use it so you wasted $130. That is why I won't be getting it. $130 is a lot of $ to spend on "might" when technology moves so fast. If this was a 10 proposition it could be worth putting the xtra $ down, but 4G will be out in a couple of years and 3G will be like EDGE is now.

    If you know 100% there will be times you'll need 3G its great, but to just buy "in case," is a dubious "investment."
  16. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009

    Higher resale value
  17. ikimasu thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Yeah, that is a potential downside but I don't think it outweighs the benefits. The freedom to use 3G if you want, especially when the plan is pay-as-you-go, plus the higher resale value (to help buy newer versions if desired), are both big benefits in my mind. Besides, if 4G is a couple of years away, then this iPad will be obsolete by that point anyway, and I'll probably want a newer version regardless.

    But I do have to admit it's a tough decision, especially considering you get a 64GB Wi-fi only version for less than a 32GB 3G version. $130 is a lot, for sure. But think of it this way: When you buy your first smart phone, you're taking a chance - you might not really end up using the data plan that much, despite the fact that you're paying a lot for both the plan and then phone. You could spend considerably less on a regular phone deal. But you take the chance because you assume there's a good chance you'll use those extra features.

    This might not affect a lot of people, but for me at least I've never had a smart phone of any kind. If I did, I'd probably know better whether or not I'd use the data plan. But since I don't, forking out the extra $130 for the 3G version is worth it. I could still change my mind - I probably won't get an iPad of any kind until May/June, so I'll hopefully get my hands on one and play with it some, read reviews, etc. enough to have a more informed decision by that point.

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