For the first time, T-Mobile will be selling Apple's iPads directly to consumers, offering Apple's new iPad Air
and a new version of the iPad Mini
when they arrive in November. In another new wrinkle, T-Mobile's trying something a little different: they're offering people who purchase an iPad Air with cellular radio 200 MB of free data
. Users can then purchase 2.5 GB of usage for $30, or 4.5 GB of data for $40.
Consumers have historically steered clear of cellular-radio embedded tablets due to the higher hardware price -- and the higher cost of cellular data. Many users are perfectly happy with Wi-Fi only tablets, using their cellphones as tethered modems or hotspots when data is required.
Carriers like AT&T and Verizon have tried to change this trend with their new shared data plans, which offer users a single pool of data for all devices, but come with per device connection fees for tablets (usually $10).
T-Mobile's 200 MB of free data is the carrier's latest effort as part of their "uncarrier" strategy, which most recently included offering free data roaming to over 100 countries
(albeit at EDGE speeds).
You can compare all four major carrier tablet data bucket prices in the graphic to the left. T-Mobile's expected to formally announce a few new wrinkles at another press event
to be held later today.Update
: T-Mobile's press announcement indicates they'll be offering the 200 MB of free 4G data to any customer using a cellular-radio embedded tablet on T-Mobile's network. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has been having some fun on Twitter
with the announcement: