Judging by the less than subtle groans from the audience as AT&T was announced as the sole carrier during the iPad announcement in January, there are plenty of consumers unwilling to fork over extra dough for a network that seems overburdened in the more populated cities like New York and San Francisco. Unable to close a partnership with Apple, both Verizon and Sprint ready their arsenals as Apple’s ties to AT&T remain unbroken.
Earlier in March, a leaked internal memo floating around Verizon calls the iPad “an opportunity.“ Citing the 3G iPad as packaged with a $130 premium, Verizon would rather you pick up a MiFi and pay for your monthly data through them. Of course that’s nothing all too surprising and Verizon continues with, “Why pay more for the 3G version & get 3G service on an overloaded network with limited coverage?”
Not far behind, Sprint has unleashed a new television spot for their 4G hotspot, the Overdrive. Sprint admits the iPhone is “cool” but there’s an opportunity to make it even cooler! Instead of sucking data from that slow, dated 3G technology, try something with speeds “up to 10 times faster than 3G.” Sprint’s 4G coverage is pretty slim at the moment, which is probably why they’re not touting a 4G coverage map to help with the convincing.
The only one missing out here is T-Mobile but I wouldn’t expect them to follow suit. T-Mobile already provides support for any of its customers’ devices, even those with unlocked or jailbroken iPhones. Since T-Mobile 3G bands aren’t supported in either the iPhone or iPad, there’s no way they’re going to advertise their 2G network compatibility.
If you’re in an area with spotty AT&T reception or you’re looking for a data plan that supports multiple devices, both Verizon and Sprint have you covered. If not, nothing beats not having to carry around extra hardware to get your device data connected. What do you think? Is the iPad a good way to sneak in some MiFi sales? Anyone out there blanketed in 4G coverage? Let us know in the comments.