Since day one I've had a low-end iPad. When purchasing the original iPad I agonized over which model and finally settled on the 16GB Wi-Fi. Over my two years of ownership it worked well for me. Between my home, office and frequent haunts I'm almost always on Wi-Fi and I never even came close to bumping up against the storage limitations, thanks mainly to keeping most of my media library on my iPhone, being mindful of which Apps I was actually using, and taking advantage of cloud storage. Although I was nervous when App sizes started ballooning to support the new iPad retina display, I still found I had a more than adequate cushion. The lack of data connectivity was never much of a problem. I'm fortunate to have Wi-Fi at home, at work and most places I frequent, but it's not everywhere. There are a couple times a year when it would be nice to have a data plan for my iPad but I never felt those times occurred often enough to justify the additional price. An extra $130 plus $20 a month minimum for data can buy you more than a couple of instances of connectivity a year in hotels or conferences as necessary.
The base model iPad worked so well for me in the past when 3rd Generation iPad was announced it was without hesitation that I purchased the very same model. But then things started to change. Maybe it was the retina display that made me want to take my iPad with me everywhere. Maybe it was that I was starting to travel a more often for work and was finding myself yearning for ubiquitous connectivity my AT&T iPhone couldn't give me. Maybe it was just everyone else telling me how awesome LTE is that finally got to me. Either way, I started yearning for 4G.
My original plan was to wait until the next generation iPhone (presumably the iPhone 5 released sometime between June and September) was available with LTE. At that time I'd make the switch to Verizon, lose my grandfathered unlimited data plan anyway and gain the ability to switch on tethering as needed. After all, June/September isn't that far away. But a couple of out of town trips coupled with a unique opportunity to hand my near new Wi-Fi iPad down was enough to make me jump.
My mother will be the owner of a nearly new 16GB Wi-Fi iPad as a combination Mothers Day/Birthday gift from my father (this post was actually embargoed so as to not spill the beans) and I am the proud owner of a new 16GB 4G Verizon iPad. I'm off to Washington, DC for a conference this week and am planning to take my new 4G iPad with me for a spin. My hotel charges $15 a day for Wi-Fi so my hope is to get by on the iPad's data plan alone. I also see this as an excellent opportunity to take Verizon's network for a test drive before switching away from AT&T to see if the grass really is greener on the other side.
Looking forward to trying out my new tech. I'll let you now how it goes.