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Instant Gratification vs the Right Choice (209.0) - Mark's Journal
Instant Gratification vs the Right Choice (209.0)
I've got several friends, not to mention several TidBITS colleagues, who've already had their iPads delivered via UPS or who waited in line at an Apple Store this morning. Word was that there were a handful of people "camping" at Apple Stores yesterday, but the real lines started early this morning and cleared pretty quickly, once stores opened at 10am local time.

You won't be surprised to hear that I ordered my iPad minutes after orders opened online, but despite the tough choice of getting an iPad on April 3rd vs getting the 3G-capable model, I decided I had to wait and get the product that was right for me.

Honestly, I doubt I'll need the get-online-anywhere capability of the 3G model all that often, especially since I already have an iPhone and can check e-mail or get info from the web that way. But it's too easy to imagine situations, in which I'd wish I could get online but couldn't -- especially if the iPad becomes as indispensable, as quickly, as I suspect it will.

So, what I ordered a few weeks ago was the iPad 3G version, which isn't slated to ship until late April. I'd be pleasantly surprised if it shipped early, and in fact there were hints last week that it might, but I don't expect it to show up that much sooner. (In fact, at this point, I bet lots of people would be upset if they'd bought today so they wouldn't have to wait three or four weeks, and then discovered the 3G units were appearing sooner.)

The best feature of the 3G unit, to be honest, is that I don't have to use it. Apple and AT&T came up with a brilliant plan when they decided not to force users into a contract, instead allowing us to activate and deactivate cellular data service -- right from the iPad itself -- at our convenience. That freedom from the usual bonds of cellular service contracts could be as revolutionary as the device itself. Look to see more and more device offerings with service that can be turned off and on at whim.

You know, it's possible that if I'd heard about Verizon Wireless's latest offer for Palm phones sooner, I might have reconsidered. It's tempting to buy a Palm Pixi Plus and get the free 5GB/month "mobile hotspot" feature that Verizon Wireless is offering just for the Palm phones, and just use a Wi-Fi-only iPad with 3G from my phone. Though one of these days, I have to imagine AT&T will make tethering service available to iPhone owners; Apple built it into the OS nearly a year ago. If AT&T doesn't get with the program and let me buy that service, I'm going to find someone else to get that from and give them my money. Age just bought a MiFi, for example, so can carry the Internet in his pocket not just for an iPad, but for his laptop and a couple of friends nearby who want to get online.

But for now, I'm going to twiddle my thumbs and wait until I get to enjoy my own 3G-capable iPad, which I'm sure I'll have in my hands in a few weeks. And, in the meantime, I can play with the keyboard dock and case, which Apple shipped my way a few days ago.
7 comments or Leave a comment
queenmabwords From: queenmabwords Date: April 3rd, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG you're getting skinny! I may have to try the Passover diet.
belmikey From: belmikey Date: April 4th, 2010 10:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Age just bought a MiFi, for example, so can carry the Internet in his pocket not just for an iPad, but for his laptop and a couple of friends nearby who want to get online.

This is the way I plan to go if I decide I really need 3G capability. I was seriously contemplating the 3G iPad, but concluded that I would use it, even tho' I don't need it, and thus add another recurring "luxury" cost to my life at a time when I'm actually trying to be better about such things. The iPad itself was purchased with found money, but data service would become a budget item..
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: April 4th, 2010 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)

That's just it. If you decide to go with a Mi-Fi, it will require ongoing budgeting, whereas my 3G connectivity will be available as a once-in-a-while expense.
belmikey From: belmikey Date: April 4th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right, and it wouldn't be for me. If I have it, I'll use it. All the time.

I can think of some circumstances under which i'd be willing to budget for that. One of them would mean I basically was using, or planning to use, the iPad far more often than the iPhone and was willing to carry the iPad with me everywhere. At that point, I might well ditch the iPhone entirely in favor of some cheap pay-as-you-go phone, and at *that* point I would want to be free of AT&T all together, so I would still want my 3G through a MiFi or similar device from someone else.
excaliburca From: excaliburca Date: April 4th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
*If* I were an iPad-buying type I think I'd be going with the 3G version as well just so I could get more use out of it than just at home. I think you're going to be using the 3G feature more often than you think.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: April 4th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Well, most of the places around town I'd use the iPad, there's already Wi-Fi coverage... either free or that I'm already paying for. (I pay for Lightlink's annual service, something like $80 to use it all I want at any of their hotspots for the whole year.) Since I have the iPhone and will be able to do basic stuff on that anywhere that there's cellular coverage, I should be able to refrain from buying the 3G service for the iPad nearly all the time.
helianthas From: helianthas Date: April 4th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
teathering means that I could use my 3G service from my iphone plan with AT&T to surf the web with my laptop, via bluetooth or what-not, right?
7 comments or Leave a comment