Well, isn't this a nice surprise?
Verizon and Apple have announced that the iPad will be available in Verizon stores from October 28. The tablet will also be hitting AT&T stores on the same date, however, only the latter will be selling the WiFi+3G version of the tablet.
Two weeks from today, 2,000 Verizon Wireless stores will start selling the iPad bundled with the wireless carrier's MiFi device. Big Red will be selling three different bundles: $629.99 for a 16GB WiFi iPad plus MiFi, $729.99 for 32GB Wi-Fi iPad plus MiFi or $829.99 for a 64GB WiFi iPad with MiFi. Though customers won't be forced to purchase a MiFi with their iPad, they will be offered a special iPad data plan that will give them 1GB of data for $20 per month.
The news itself isn't all that exciting but it represents a first ever as the two companies have never collaborated before. The deal will do nothing but fuel speculation that Apple will announce a Verizon iPhone in the first half of 2011.
"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. "iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before, and together with Verizon Wireless we’re offering an easy way to stay connected wherever you go."
"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."
While it seems like Cupertino-based Apple and Verizon are getting chummy, it's important to remember that AT&T is still very much an Apple partner. Also announced today was the availability of the iPad in 2,200 AT&T branches starting, you guessed it, October 28. However, AT&T will also be selling the 3G version of the Apple tablet.
"We can't wait to showcase the amazing features of iPad Wi-Fi + 3G in our stores across the country just in time for the holidays," said Glenn Lurie, AT&T President of Emerging Devices, Resale and Partnerships, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "With our breakthrough iPad data plans starting at just $14.99 and access to AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots around the country at no extra cost, our customers will have the best of both worlds."
Pricing for AT&T iPads is as follows: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for 64GB. Domestic data plans for iPad are priced at $14.99 per month for 250MB and $25 per month for 2GB with no term contract.