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Apple details iPad 3G signup process

updated 10:45 am EST, Fri March 12, 2010

Reduces dependence on stores, desktops

Having finally begun US preorders of the iPad, Apple is also providing more concrete details on the signup process for AT&T carrier service. Unlike the iPhone, people who buy a 3G-ready iPad will be able to subscribe without going to a store. The option is located under a Cellular Data menu under Settings.

A form is provided to choose the level of service, whether 250MB or unlimited, and then enter data for a Visa, Discover, MasterCard or American Express credit card. Once the basic signup is complete, people also have the option of changing or expanding their plan, for instance by adding extra data or an international option. For the 250MB plan a monitoring system is enabled, generating alerts as 20, 10 and finally 0 percent of the data cap remain. iPad owners will also be able to track ongoing usage, or cancel data until it is needed again.

The scheme creates an unusual burden for Apple in that it may have to customize the iPad firmware for every region in which it will be sold, in order to cope with different carrier plans and credit cards. At the same time this makes the iPad more practical as a computer, since it can already be used without regularly syncing to iTunes on a desktop or notebook system.

by MacNN Staff




  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what I would love

    is for them to switch that lower model to a pay as you go. then if I don't use up all 250MB one month I can 'rollover' to later. and if I need more, I just buy it.

    also, anyone that doesn't sync to a computer better not be buying squat in terms of music etc. cause one good drop and bye bye all your unbacked up stuff. Which is actually why I wish they would get a backup utility where you could connect to a harddrive and really skip the computer with no risk of data loss cause you can make a copy.

  1. edge.g

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iTunes in the cloud

    This is where La La and the rumored cloud based services would come into play. Having your library stored on Apple's servers eliminates the worries about backing up your music.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Unlike the iPhone, people who buy a 3G-ready iPad will be able to subscribe without going to a store.

    Don't know how to tell you all, but Apple's allowed you to do this with the iPhone for a long time now. Friend of mine ordered an iPhone from, had it delivered, and finished the connection process (if there was something to finish) by just plugging it into iTunes. I thought that was the whole big deal about the iPhone, you didn't have to activate in the store.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Except when you couldn't

    There were, I believe, 2 different times when you could not do that for iPhones. Wasn't the initial iPhone 3G release one of those times?

    Just sayin.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It gets a phone number? Going to need some more area codes.

    - A

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