54 More days until the Wi-Fi iPad is available and 84 more days until the Wi-Fi+3G version will be on sale. So I've got plenty of time to ponder this issue: which version to buy.
For most iPhone users, their iPhone cannot tether to another device so that device can share the iPhone's Internet connection. Nor can mine. But I’ve also got a rooted G1, an Android phone with T-Mobile, that allows me to tether any Wi-Fi enabled device like my Macbook or iPod Touch and use my G1's 3G connection.
Now my T-Mobile contract is coming up and that means I should be free to cancel my data plan with T-Mobile at any time (I’ve got a family plan for voice. Canceling that will make many folks unhappy). This allows me to go with the $30 3G plan for the iPad if that's what I end up deciding to do.
Or I can stick with T-Mobile, buy an iPad with Wi-Fi only and retain the freedom to use the G1 as a 3G modem. The drawback of this is that I’d have to carry an extra device with me wherever I go.
You’re probably saying well, you have to carry a phone around anyway. Not necessarily.
Well, the thing is I use my mobile devices like the G1 and the iPhone exclusively as, well, mobile computing devices. The few phone calls I get in between are social calls that I can move to Skype or Fring at any time with the iPad or the iPhone now that VOIP over 3G is possible (still waiting on you, Skype!). (It’s absolutely insane to make plans and change things at the last minute. If I’m driving through midtown Wilshire, I don’t want to be getting a call saying that the dinner plan have changed and I’m gonna have to brave to 405 Southbound to get to another restaurant. We make a plan. We stick to it, people!)
For my mom, it’s easier. On the day Steve Jobs officially unveiled the iPad to the world, I got a few calls from my mom that I missed. I thought it was an emergency. It was. She wanted an iPad with 3G. (She also wanted to know if she can get it with a 15” screen for her Slingplayer.) For my mom, who has a 2G iPhone, the decision to get her a 3G iPad is a lot easier.
I”ve got between 54 and 84 days left to decide what I want to do. Meanwhile, maybe Apple will reveal more details about the iPad that I’m sure we’re gonna like and that will factor into my decision which model to buy.
Update: There are issues about whether there is space for a webcam in the iPad from some updates last night about this. An authorized Apple repair company received parts that indicate room for a webcam. While I am hoping for a last minute change that includes a webcam, I'm not hopeful.
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