updated 08:50 am EDT, Thu October 14, 2010
Verizon gets 1st Apple deal with MiFi iPad bundles
Verizon surprised the industry today by striking an official deal with Apple to carry the iPad in its stores. The deal will use the Wi-Fi models of each but bundle them with a Novatel MiFi 2200 to share a 3G connection with both the iPad and four other devices. Verizon is also offering a special iPad plan that gives these buyers 1GB of data for the MiFi every month for $20.
The deal isn't mandatory and will let users simply walk in and buy a Wi-Fi iPad by itself, the two companies said.
Stores will start carrying the iPad on October 28 and will involve 16GB, 32GB and 64GB MiFi versions that match the price of buying a 3G iPad for AT&T, at $630, $730 and $830 respectively. All versions come without contracts. Buying a Wi-Fi version without the MiFi costs as much as it does from any other channel.
The deal is Apple's first ever with Verizon and immediately lends more credence to leaks detailing a iPhone on Verizon early next year. Most now believe AT&T's exclusive for the iPhone has been shortened, partly due to the iPad. AT&T's sole support for the iPad has so far been considered exclusive due to technical reasons, but it may have also bid for an iPad deal that would have let Apple out of its iPhone terms early in exchange for temporarily dropping plans for an EVDO-native iPad.