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iPad Wi-Fi + 3G Arrives With Some Issues

by Sean P. Aune | May 1, 2010May 1, 2010 12:45 pm PDT

Go ahead and admit it.  You knew when Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G was going to have unlimited 3G with AT&T for $30 a month that there would be issues.  How could there not be?  We are talking about AT&T after all, and that company’s track record with 3G connectivity on the iPhone has been spotty at best, so charging $30 a month for “unlimited” data seemed a bit fishy.

Well, sure enough, the new iPad has landed, and, yes, there are some definite issues with the 3G.

ipadFirst up are the reports that the built-in YouTube app is severely hindered.  iLounge is reporting that all HD videos on YouTube are not HD when working over 3G, and that they appear to be significantly downgraded in quality.  Even standard videos appear to be getting downgraded, leaving one to wonder just how much bandwidth everyone thinks those videos take.

The most curious situation thus far seems to be with the popular ABC television network app.  Everyone is reporting that it is saying it is unavailable over the 3G network, and that you must be connected to Wi-Fi to use it.  At first the speculation was that it was due to the size of the files, but Business Insider’s Dan Frommer Tweeted to TechCrunch’s MG Siegler that it was due to copyright issues.

ABC is wifi only on purpose. I believe rights play a role. (they’re different on wifi vs 3G) sounds dumb but true.

abc told me “the decision was based on a variety of business and technical considerations.” but no details

Odd to be certain, but thats copyrights for you.

Probably the least surprising find is that Skype is not making or receiving calls over 3G. Is this really surprising to anyone? Skype has still not released an iPad app, and its iPhone app has not yet been updated to allow calls over 3G.  One thing I question is that even with the new rule that calls should be allowed over 3G, how likely is AT&T to be fond of the idea of unlimited calls from your iPad for $30 a month?  With the use of SkypeIn where your account receives a real world phone number, you could turn the iPad into a phone, and there are headset options so it would be like holding the tablet to your head.  This particular issue could get prickly.

Have you got the 3G version yet?  Any issues you are discovering?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...