Apple’s iPad to go on sale at 4,200 Verizon and AT&T stores
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Both Verizon Wireless and its mobile über-rival AT&T announced Thursday that the companies’ chains of thousands of U.S. retail stores would be carrying Apple’s iPad starting on Oct. 28, in time for the holiday buying season.
The simultaneous announcements raised the stakes in the longtime feud between AT&T, exclusive wireless carrier of the iPhone and iPad, and Verizon, which has long been rumored to be next in line for Apple’s popular mobile devices.
Verizon’s 2,000 stores will not carry versions of the iPad that work on the 3G wireless network. Instead, the company will offer WiFi iPads bundled with its plug-in ‘MiFi’ device, a pocket-sized cellular transmitter that allows non-cellular devices to access the Internet by way of Verizon’s network. Verizon will sell the baseline WiFi iPad along with its MiFi device for $629, along with a $20 monthly charge for 1 gigabyte of data transfer.
Still, Verizon presented the iPad-MiFi bundle as, essentially, a networked iPad.
“This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels,” said John Stratton, Verizon Wireless’ chief operating officer, in a statement. IPad ‘together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.”
AT&T and Apple, meanwhile, released a joint statement that the telco would be selling the iPad at its 2,200 stores, at $629 for the baseline 16-gigabyte 3G model, plus $15 per month for 250 megabytes of data, or $25 a month for 2 gigabytes.
That statement, of course, did not mention Verizon’s huge iPad rollout.
Apple sold more than 3 million iPads during the device’s first three months on the market, and the company is clearly making a push to boost sales of the device even further in the coming months. Apple will announce quarterly results Monday.
-- David Sarno