The Apple iPad is a great tablet unit. It is so good that it might just go down in history as the device that changed the tablet industry for good. People cannot get enough of the iPad since its first generation a year ago. Sitcoms talk about it, movies refer to it, and just about everyone talks about it (good or bad, but it is an ice breaker).For those of us seriously considering purchasing an iPad, the inevitable question that we all face is whether or not to get the 3G edition. It is true that people cares more about 3G than its capacity to hold data. Many people ended up sacrificing storage just so that they can get an iPad 3G. The question I seek to answer here is whether it is worth it to get an iPad 3G edition.iPad comes with WIFI; it would be ridiculous for an internet device to not have any network capabilities, but why is the choice of getting an iPad 3G a dilemma for a lot of people? Well, for starters, it will require a bigger bank to get one.A regular 16 GB WIFI iPad costs $499 from the Apple store, and you add $100 each to get up to 32 GB and 64 GB versions. Now, if you want the iPad 3G you will have to pay $130 more on top of the regular price tag. So a 16 GB iPad 3G + WIFI will cost $629, and subsequently the 64 GB edition is now a whopping $829.The increase in cost may not be as much of an issue to most people if it stopped there, but it doesn’t. In the States ATT and Verizon are currently offering iPad plans. From ATT users have the choice of a personal plan that gives you 250mb for $14.99 a month of bandwidth (how much data you can download and upload monthly), and a 2 GB data plan for $25. Most people would sign up for the 2 GB, because for the price it just makes much more sense to get it. So for personal use, and if those bandwidth are even adequate, an iPad 3G owner is looking at an extra 300 dollars a year. For example, you purchased the 16 GB iPad 3G edition like many people that faces the same dilemma and paid $629. By the end of the first year, this iPad would have cost you $929, and if you stuck with the plan, you are looking at $300 extra every year thereafter.Problem, if you are internet savvy, or technology savvy, which most of us are now a day, you will quickly realize that 2 GB a month on an iPad is not enough, you are pretty much limited to just browsing and emails, by browsing I mean text browsing. YouTube will kill your bandwidth and it will cost you a lot more. ATT charges $10 for ever GB over!! If this gets on the hand of a teenager that doesn’t really understand where money is coming from, parents, be ready for a shocker on your next bill. The sole purpose of an iPad is to stay online! All the time! And 2 GB of bandwidth is not what the internet world runs on.So, you realized that you need more bandwidth. Good! Because Verizon offers more than ATT! Verizon cleverly or openly avoided the 250 MB and the 2 GB market that ATT offers, instead, they offer a 1, 3, 5 or 10 GB plans. The 10 GB iPad 3G plan will cost you $80 a month! That is $960 a year! (I’m selling my precious motorbike for only $1200, and it is a lot more fun than an iPad 3G if you ask me). Not a lot of people that thought this through would get the 10 GB plan, now I’m not including those that don’t care; I am strictly speaking to people like me, who can really appreciate $960 that maybe a little more useful spent elsewhere.For our friends in Canada, buying an iPad is even a bigger tear dropping experience. The units are more expensive in Canada, averaging $20 more on off the price tag alone. Which doesn’t make sense because a). Canadian dollars are stronger, and b). It doesn’t cost that much to ship across the border. With the current conversion rate, 512 Canadian Dollars equals to 537 US Dollars. If you factor conversion rates in, iPads in Canada are close to being $40 more expensive than the exact same US models. Thankfully, the iPad 3G data plans offered in Canada by Rogers and Bell are on par with that offered in the states.Nearing the end of this dilemma, most people would get a 16 GB iPad 3G and a 2 to 5 GB plan from either ATT or Verizon. They would strictly instruct their kids or themselves to use WIFI at home and ONLY use 3G conservatively, no YouTube videos in the mall, no streaming music in the park no…..you get the point. Why are you even getting an iPad 3G if that is the case?You get an iPad 3G because you love the internet, and that you feel comfortable with internet in your pocket anywhere you go whenever you go. I will not advice people to forget about iPad 3G, because let us face the truth, it is that good to be able to use internet everywhere you go, especially on an awesome device such as the iPad.There is a solution to this dilemma. It is not perfect, but it works for most people. The magic is tethering. If you are shopping for an iPad chances are you or the person you are buying it for already have a 3G device, almost all smart phone owners have some sort of data plan. For iPhone or Androids tethering is a quite simple thing to do. You will be able to find a how to guide on the World Wide Web in no time. What tethering does is it turns your smart phone into a WIFI podcaster through your existing data plan, as a result you can connect your iPad via WIFI to your phone and use its 3G services! Since most of us have our phone all the time anyways, it is a neat combo.The drawback will still be the same, you still want to limit your data usage, although 2 GB of data may seem a lot on a phone, but on a much more powerful device like the iPad it won’t hold much long the moment you start browsing some heavy entertainment suff. The benefit of using tethering will save you that $130 from not getting the iPad 3G edition and hundreds of dollars on a separate data plan.Some people have asked why not cancel the data plan on their phone and get the iPad plan instead. Well, if you must choose one, the phone’s data plan is much more versatile. Though the iPad is quite portable it is not as pocket friendly as your phone. Last time I tried to squeeze an iPad down my trousers it ripped the pocket apart. Also, if you are one of those people that got an awesome data deal on your phone, congratulations to you, it just means you get way more data privilege through tethering than other folks.In conclusion, it is nice to have an iPad 3G edition, but for now it is just not worth it. The extra cost and maintenance is really a deal breaker. Even if you have put aside the money for an iPad 3G, I would recommend using the money and upgrade it to a 64 GB edition, that way you can use WIFI to download all the entertainments you want and watch it on the go without using 3G.Maybe one day it will be worth it to get an iPad 3G, maybe one day a fair price will be given to those services. $20 a month is not a lot of money, but $20 for a gig of bandwidth is just ridiculous in 2011.Thank you for reading iPad 3G, is it worth it?
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