Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will start selling the WiFi version of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad tablet later this month, a move that likely will boost iPad sales and intensify speculation that Verizon soon will start selling the Apple iPhone. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), currently the exclusive built-in 3G service provider for the iPad, also will sell the tablet in its retail stores.
Verizon will begin selling the iPad Oct. 28; the tablet is the company's first Apple wireless product. Recent reports have indicated that Apple is building a CDMA version of the iPhone that Verizon will launch early next year; both companies have declined to comment on the speculation.
The Verizon iPad will come bundled with Verizon's MiFi mobile hotspot device in three different packages: $629.99 for the 16 GB iPad, $729.99 for the 32 GB iPad and $829.99 for the 64 GB iPad. Verizon will offer month-to-month data access of 1 GB for $20 per month. Verizon also will offer all three iPad WiFi models on a stand-alone basis.
Separately, AT&T said it will start selling the iPad 3G model Oct. 28--the device features built-in support for AT&T's cellular network. AT&T offers no-contract 3G data plans for the iPad of $14.99 per month for 250 MB and $25 per month for 2 GB.
Apple has been steadily expanding its retail partners for the iPad ahead of the holiday shopping season. Sam's Club will start selling the iPad soon, and Wal-Mart said the device will be available in all of its stores by mid-November. Best Buy and Target also sell the device.
Apple's retail expansion comes as other companies gear up to release tablets of their own. All four Tier 1 carriers will sell Samsung's Android-powered GalaxyTab during the holiday season.
- see this Verizon release
- see this AT&T release
- see this CNet article
Samsung's second coup: GalaxyTab headed to VZW, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile
Rumor Mill: Apple doubles iPad production capacity
Samsung unveils GalaxyTab Android tablet
AT&T sees future in tablets beyond iPad
AT&T, Dell, Best Buy bank on tablets