The Apple iPad is beginning its holiday onslaught and is now available from both Verizon Wireless and AT&T. The iPad will be available in stores and online with Big Red and in stores with Big Blue. This is a big day for Verizon and its customers as this is the first Apple mobile device to land on the carrier’s network. The launch of Apple’s popular tablet suggests that Apple and Verizon can play nice with each other and has lead folks to speculate that this may be a trial run for the rumored CDMA iPhone.
The WiFi-enabled iPad will be available from Verizon as a standalone device or in a bundle with a MiFi mobile hotspot. Prices for the various configurations available from Verizon are as follows:
- 16GB iPad Wi-Fi + MiFi for $629.99
- 32GB iPad Wi-Fi + MiFi for $729.99
- 64GB iPad Wi-Fi + MiFi for $829.99
- 16GB iPad Wi-Fi for $499.99
- 32GB iPad Wi-Fi for $599.99
- 64GB iPad Wi-Fi for $699.99
Verizon will offer the iPad + MiFi bundle with three new, tiered data plans exclusive to this bundle which includes a $20/1GB plan, a $30/3GB plan and a $50/5GB plan.
The 3G iPad has been available for AT&T since its launch earlier this year. This move by Apple now brings the 3G-enabled tablet device into AT&T stores nationwide. Pricing and the associated AT&T data plans remain the same. The 3G iPad will be available contract-free for $629, $729, or $829 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively. Data plans include 250MB for $15 and 2GB for $25.
At launch, the iPad was only available from Apple’s retail channels. As supply constraints have eased, Apple has loosened its reigns on the iPad and is now selling the iPad through third-party retailers such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Sam’s Club. This retail expansion should help Apple increase its sales of iPad, especially during the holiday shopping season. Though the iPad is the market leader, sales of the tablet device fell below analysts estimates in Apple’s last reported quaterly earnings. With the oncoming wave of Android tablets, Apple needs a boost to help extend the iPad’s lead over its competition.