Just got back from the Apple Store* with my new, new iPad. Now I have the 64 GB Verizon LTE model; before, I bought the 32 GB wi-fi model, as I explained here. (Still sticking with black bezel, to offer the highest contrast with the screen and to minimize distractions from video.)
Why the tradeups?
- I underestimated how fast LTE wireless would be. (The rave reviews hadn’t come out when I pre-ordered.) It now feels silly to buy a mobile device that doesn’t have mobile Internet access built right in. I don’t want to buy another MacBook Air unless it has LTE. And I hope the carriers get their act together soon on buckets of data that I can use across multiple devices, instead of separating everything. (I’d also love to see more creative data plan pricing. The €3.50 for one day/250 MB of fast data that I got from Orange in Spain was an interesting offer.)
- I got the Verizon version (vs. AT&T) for three main reasons: Because AT&T has always disappointed me in NYC (especially Brooklyn, where I live) and I wanted to try Verizon for the first time. (I’ll probably get a Verizon LTE iPhone when they come out.) Because I can still use any GSM-based 3G service anywhere in the world, including AT&T in the U.S. And because Verizon offers free tethering as part of its packages today, while AT&T doesn’t.
- One other big reason I upgraded to LTE: I had initially planned to tether my iPad to my iPhone. But my iPhone 4S battery is pretty frail, even running iOS 5.1. It didn’t make sense to put even more stress on it when the iPad battery situation is still so amazing. So I’m going to switch over to using the iPad’s LTE as my tethering device/service, and get rid of the tethering plan on my iPhone.
- I wasn’t running out of space yet on the 32 GB version, but I can see how I might. The retina display is good enough that I only want to watch HD movies, TV shows, etc. on it. And apps take up more space, especially if I get a few magazine subscriptions. I hope to get 2 years out of this iPad, so the opportunity to double my storage capacity for $100 seemed like a good tradeoff.
So that’s where I’m at now. More to come once I’ve had a chance to test out LTE.
* The Apple Store folks couldn’t have been nicer about it, btw. I was worried about a restocking fee, but nope, they were happy to make the trade, as it was within 14 days of receiving the iPad. The guy on the phone asked me to bring the box, receipt, and cords. Apple probably loses a little money on this, but they also just got another $230 from me, and I no longer feel like I’m missing out on LTE. A long-term win-win.
Earlier: Which New iPad?
Check out my new site: The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.