wifi

Just this past week, I talked to three people who were going to buy an Apple iPad the moment it is released by Apple next month.

Then I asked them if they realized that if they buy the first one that comes out, in March, that they’ll only be able to be on the Internet if they are in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot (like in their home, or at a Starbucks, McDonalds, or some other place that offers Wi-Fi). Not a single one of the three realized that was the case.

They just assumed that, like their iPhone, they’d be able to jump on the Web wherever they were (at the pool, in a cab, etc.) with the one coming out in March for $499. One of them told me, “You better warn people about this, because a lot of people I talked to think that’s the way it is.”

So, this isn’t really a warning, it’s more of just a heads-up for my readers who are planning to buy an iPad. Want to jump on the Internet anytime with your iPad? Wait until April (or whenever the Wi-Fi + 3G version ships), and get that model instead. Just know, an iPad Wi-Fi + 3G with the ability to jump on the Internet most anywhere not only costs more than the just Wi-Fi version (which starts at $499), you have to sign up for a monthly data plan (like you do with a phone).

I put the chart at the top (from Apple’s Website), to show the differences. Anything under the Wi-Fi row means you have to be in a hot-spot to access the Internet. Wi-Fi plus 3G means you can jump on anytime, but you need a data plan from AT&T (at least that seems to be the plan so far).

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is absolutely no need to post a comment saying: (a) You’re not getting an iPad (b) No Flash support was a deal-breaker for you (c) You hate AT&T (d) Anything else mean or negative at all about anything (not just the iPad). If you have no plans to buy an iPad—good news—-you don’t have to worry about this decision and this public service announcement does not affect you in any way, so just pretend it didn’t exist. Thanks. :)