AT&T To Sell iPads Starting This Month – and Verizon Too!

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Both AT&T and Verizon will start selling iPads in their retail stores beginning on October 28th.

This is huge news in terms of the whole AT&T vs. Verizon battle, as well as in terms of expansion potential for iOS devices in the US market – as this is the first time since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 that Verizon is going to be selling a mobile device from Apple. My thought is that this just about confirms that we’ll see an iPhone on Verizon within six months.

For the iPad, this has been one hell of a good month for building its retail sales network in the US. Best Buy is now offering the device in all of its stores, Target is now selling it, Walmart starts selling iPads tomorrow, and now it will be sold in both AT&T and Verizon retail outlets as well starting late October.

The iPad is already a massive hit and has already been confirmed as the fastest selling consumer electronics device ever – and that is * before * it added all these thousands of new retail outlets! Adding several thousands of new outlets just as the holiday season hits its stride has got to send the sales numbers to some crazy new levels.

A few interesting points on AT&T and Verizon selling iPads:

— From what I can gather in early news reports on this, AT&T will only be selling the WiFi + 3G models – not the WiFi only models – so only the ones on which they have potential revenue streams from data plans.

— Verizon will sell all six iPad models (WiFi only and WiFi + 3G). Here’s their spin on the WiFi only model though:

… the carrier said it will bundle the three Wi-Fi models with its Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot routers for a suggested retail price of $629.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 16GB + MiFi, $729.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 32GB + MiFi and $829.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 64GB + MiFi.
Verizon Wireless is offering a monthly access plan to iPad customers of up to 1GB of data for $20 a month.

So they’re hiking the cost of each iPad WiFi only model to the level of the equivalent 3G model, to cover the inclusion of the MiFi hotspot device. I can’t see a lot of knowledgeable buyers (anyone who knows what the normal 3G deal is via Apple or AT&T or any other retailer) having much interest in the Verizon WiFi model + MiFi deal. It means you have to carry an additional device with you to have 3G access, and the data rate is considerably less attractive than AT&T’s. Also, I haven’t seen it stated yet whether the Verizon deal requires a contract.

Even so, I imagine the Verizon outlets will sell a good number of iPads – with the 3G models going at standard rates and the WiFi + MiFi models may haul in some ‘novice’ buyers and send the more knowledgeable ones out to a competitor.

Exciting times for the iPad. I can’t wait to see the crazy sales numbers we’ll see for it in the holiday quarter and in 2011.

News via: Apple Insider

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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