In the first official acknowledgment of a partnership between Verizon Wireless and Apple, the companies announced Thursday that the iPad will be available in Verizon stores, beginning Oct. 28.
Bundled with a Verizon mobile hot spot, the Wi-Fi-only iPad tablet computers will sell for the same price as the 3G-equipped iPad -- $629 for the 16-gigabyte version, $729 for the 32GB, and $829 for the 64GB version. The 3G plus Wi-Fi version will be sold in AT&T stores at the same prices.
But Verizon's data plan is $20 per month for one gigabyte, an option not available at AT&T, which offers a $15 plan for 250 megabytes and a $25 plan for two gigabytes. Verizon will also offer the iPads without a plan or the mobile hot spot for $499, $599 and $699.
End Of An Era
It's Apple's first break from its three-year exclusive relationship with AT&T, the U.S. carrier of the iPhone. It comes just days after The Wall Street Journal reported that a version of the fast-selling iPhone compatible with Verizon's CDMA network has already been ordered from Taiwanese manufacturer Pegatron.
Neither Apple nor Verizon has confirmed or denied the reports.
"I'd say this is the first step in a rollout of the iPhone with Verizon," said wireless analyst Gerry Purdy of MobilTrax. "Apple is likely still under an exclusive [agreement] with AT&T for the iPhone, but not the iPad. When the exclusive comes off -- likely in early 2011 -- then you'll see the iPhone rollout. This gives Verizon some experience working on Apple products that will make the adoption and selling of the iPhone easier."
Brian Marshall, a financial analyst who watches Apple, said last May that the iPhone would likely be available from Verizon in March 2011. On Thursday, citing Asian parts suppliers, he said Apple is "on track" to meet that prediction.
Marshall, who works for Gleacher & Co., said the new iPhone will likely be available to foreign CDMA carriers as well as Verizon.
Verizon and Apple plan to have the iPad in 2,000 of the carrier's retail stores at the end of the month, well in time for holiday sales.
"This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels," said John Stratton, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. "iPad together with the nation's largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are."
In addition to the two carriers' retail stores and Apple's own online and retail stores, the iPad will also be available at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target stores to keep sales robust as other manufacturers rush tablets to market.
"We're thrilled to be working with Verizon Wireless to get iPad into the hands of even more customers this holiday season," said Tim Cook, Apple's COO.
Posted: 2010-10-20 @ 9:23am PT
AT&T has brought this on themselves by not providing an acceptable coverage. I will certainly switch as soon as my AT&T plan terminates. Along with everyone I know who has an iPhone and all those who haven't purchased one because of AT&T's record.
Posted: 2010-10-15 @ 2:30pm PT
2 issues to consider-
1) CDMA has a less than 15% market share worldwide compared to GSM's 85%. Verizon runs CDMA
2) Licensing CDMA tech requires paying Qualcomm since they own the IP
What this means is that there are no economies of scale for Apple to go to Verizon on iphone or for that matter any other global carrier at this point. Add the licensing costs and this will be less profitable on a per unit basis. That is why the ipad on wifi and the ipad with mifi (hotspot) is coming to the market -- there, Apple retains economies of scale on the product side, while Verizon is trying to get market share. Again Apple is keeping CDMA out and so my bet is that the iphone will never come to Verizon.