This shouldn’t take anyone by surprise, but with the new iPad going on sale on Friday at 8 a.m. at Apple Stores around the country, AT&T will also have units that they’ll be selling at their retail outlets on the same day. Don’t count on being able to easily get one, though.
Today, AT&T has officially announced they will offer all Wi-Fi + 4G iPads through their sales channels starting on March 16th.
As usual, AT&T will be using the launch as an opportunity to hook you into a data plan. Ma Bell offers three tiers: a rip-off 250MB plan for $14.99, a 3GB plan for $30, and a 5GB plan for $50. You also get free access to AT&T’s 29,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the country, which are literally never around when you need them.
I know what you’re thinking. With lines for the new iPad likely to be long outside of Apple’s official retail stores, why not just head on over to your local AT&T retail shop and buy one there, skipping all the lines?
Well, lemme tell you, I tried just that last year, and no AT&T shop I tried within thirty miles had any. They would all just let you pre-order them. Apple seems to be doing a better job supplying demand this time around, but I doubt most AT&T stores will be flush with the new iPad.
Then there’s the fact that you probably shouldn’t be buying an AT&T iPad this time around anyway. Verizon has the clearly superior LTE network, plus they are including personal hotspot with every iPad sold for free. Why would you buy an AT&T iPad at all this time around?