AT&T Not Banking on Selling 3G Data Plans for iPad?

att_iPad

AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson, has been quoted in saying that the Apple iPad will be a "Wi-Fi driven product" so no customers should be concerned with poor 3G data. But it did not end there, he also went on to say the following.

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blockquote>"My expectation is that there's not going to be a lot of people out there looking for another subscription."

All of the above really makes those of us here at TiPb scratch our heads. Are those the type of statements you expect to hear from a company ready to successfully sell iPads in their corporate stores across the country? Or would you think AT&T's CEO would really want to hype up the product with positive comments to try and spark more 3G data subscriptions?

Your thoughts?

Footnote: 
[via TUAW via Reuters]

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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There are 26 comments. Add yours.

Limegrntaln says:

I would only get the 64gig 3G iPad. Wifi only would be a waste of time for me.

Adamant says:

Stupid people say stupid things !!
Ipad with 3g and wifi for me.

OneOfDaKine says:

Hahaha. Here we go again from AT&T, excuses excuses. Nothing changed..

Michael says:

I think he's exactly right and there's nothing wrong with putting this out there to silence the fear mongers trying to convince us that the iPad will destroy the country's infrastructure. It's not a mobile device and it should be made clear what the iPad is being poised as.

TumnusMr says:

To me, due to its size, the iPad is as mobile as a laptop. Yes you can take it any place, but since I rarely have a bag/backpack with me while out and about I am unlikely to take something like an iPad out of the house. When I'm away from Wifi access I rely on my iPhone which is good enough for me.
On top of that, $130 dollars seems like a high premium just for 3G and GPS and I think a lot of people will baulk at the extra cost.

xultar says:

AT&T Execs suffer from foot in mouth disease.
Ralph de la Vega has been suspiciously silent as of late...now this clown Stephenson steps out and steps in it.
ROFL. I halfway expect to see a clown car of at&t execs roll out and put on a show for us.

icebike says:

This is a perfect example of people inside of business having better information than people making drive by sniping posts on blogs. (Not naming any names but their initials are xultar and adamant).
This thing is too big to travel easily. It will be used at home on wifi by 95% of buyers.
AT&T already knows what percentage of people buy air-cards for their laptops. A vanishingly small percentage. Without corporate sponsorship, aircards are simply not used by the general population. Nobody does that. Coverage too spotty, speed too slow.
Further AT&T knows how many netbooks were sold with aircards where the user drops the account and simply uses the wifi.
Even at the low 3G price of $15, most people realize they will only use the ipad at home or where there is WiFi.
Corporate users or people who can write off their data plan will use the 3G option, but not in numbers sufficient to make a profit at $15 bucks.
Kids, try not to out think people that have hundreds of research analysts backing them up. You only come off looking, well, like kids.

Tom Estes says:

I have no intention of buying a data plan for this device. I'm buying the WiFi only, and then using a Verizon MiFi, IMHO it's a much better value that way.

scott says:

Let's see. I pay ATT $100.00 a month for my phone. Laptop with 3G card?? $50.00 a month. Now, ANOTHER $30.00 for this?? They see the writting on the wall with this. Just won't be that many people willing to spend MORE money to do something they already can.

Tom Stephens says:

"Are those the type of statements you expect to hear from a company ready to successfully sell iPads in their corporate stores across the country?"
No, they are the kind of statements you expect to hear from a company that is already under attack for poor service and trying to deflect the obvious question as to how they will cope with yet more demands on their overextended service.
They don't need to overegg the sales chatter, they know they will sell.

Ricardo says:

Hmm. I think I heard this before with a previous device. Didn't he say something similar with an iPhone? Hence the unexpected data overhaul it caused with both the original iPhone AND the 3G??

Michael Reynaga says:

agree with @Tom Estes, IF! I decide to go with the iPad it will be wifi only, I already have a Mifi and prefer that to getting 3g on the iPad because my iPhone, iPad and Laptop can all share the MiFi.

taylorh says:

There is nothi wrng with his statement. He's setting low expectations so that wall street isn't surprised when the subscription take rate is low. I agree that only a small percent willy get an AT&T subcscription.
If I get on it'll bet the 3G model mostly because I want GPS which you don't get in the wifi version. But I also want the OPTION of adding AT&T some day should I want it. But I have no plans to add the AT&T data from the start.

jaydigital says:

Oh geez. Another huge mess coming here. I want complete mobility and freedom with this thing. Wi-fi just ain't gonna cut it. I can already feel the tremendous frustration trying to get a solid connection over 3g. Maybe I won't be buying the iPad after all. Argh AT&T, Argh.

Neil Brimelow says:

ATT should come up with an "all in one" data plan, so that you pay one price for unlimited data on all devices.
Or they could have a trigger set up; if you own an iphone you can get free 3g with the ipad, as you can't use two devices at once. I.E. you can talk on your iphone (on bluetooth) and surf the web, but if you have an ipad in reach, you'll use the ipad to surf instead of your iphone.

Billy says:

As f it isn't bad enough I can't wait to get stuck behind some JA check his email on his ipad while at a stop light.

Who Dat says:

WHERE THE HECK IS MY IPHONE TETHERING, DID AT&T FORGET... OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE NOW HAD THAT FEATURE FOR ALMOST 1 YEAR NOW!!!! AT&T DOES NOT EVEN GIVE US A SIMPLE DATE 

Earless puppy says:

He is saying that because AT&T is planning on using the iPad as a vehicle to get mire iPhone sales, the reason AT&T postponed iPhone tethering is because it will be designed to tether the iPhone to the ipad. Now people without a iPhone can purchase a 3G data plan but the goal is to lure ipad people into getting an iPhone..

Earless puppy says:

@taylorh
having a 3g simcard does not give you GPS, you need a GPS chip in the ipad for that...

Dennis says:

This is merely a realistic statement. Everyone knows that the only people who have 3G data only plans have one from an employer or write it off as a business expense, because they are self-employed or run a small business. The regular consumer has never been on board the $60 per month data-only plans. AT&T with Apple's iPad is testing the waters for a new cellular data market. In a bad economy, people are not likely to go for a new subscription service. However, it's all about what people will pay for when they have the money to do so. A lot of technologies will turn on this issue (e.g., Netflix). Who knows what will happen in this market -- things could look very different in even five years.
The 250MB per month 3G data plan for $15/month seems to be for people who plan to use AT&T's wifi hotspots, IMO. The 250MB of data is kind of helpful for emergency use or notifications while not on wifi, but where there's no 3G, it's kind of more of a convenience. The price is competitive against non-free wifi hotspots at cafes, etc.; the 250MB is kind of a freebie, IMO.

Kevin says:

Of course he's right. I've been saying that ever since I saw the iPad and I'm not an overpaid CEO.

pruitt says:

Just for thought--my 76-year-old mom still avoids the internet even though she would greatly benefit from email and the ability to keep up with grandchildren 1000 miles away. However, she has a cell phone that my sister provides from her plan in another state.
SO, it's easy for us to imagine a $30 subscription for a device that would give my mom a non-threatening email client, access to grand-kid photos, no internet contract, and the ability to type a few letters--her primary use for the PC she owns.
I bet I'm not the only one considering this for a grandparent who would be more than content with the speed of 3G....

2PhoneUser says:

Well at least they are being honest what's really funny was that there is another article on this site how the iPad is supposed to be a Windows Killer, which it won't be. Also our business won't us the iPad if it has they same wireless capabilities as the iPhone as they presently don't support any Cisco Wireless extensions. I work for a healthcare company and without this capability, an approved mac address, encrypted SSID, and radius users account you get now wireless at any of our sites due to HIPAA and other newer regulations. Also we also actively scan for an illegal WAP's. But for home use it sounds interesting but I want to see the released product, if it runs like the existing iphones for example no multitasking, same type email client, can't change desktop, etc, I will have to go with a netbook.

Josh says:

oh well not missing out on much..even tho i have an iphone i still use wifi as much as i can over their 3G network. So it's nothing new for me to miss out on.

Marilyn says:

Some of us live outside big cities and rely on 3G which is still a hit and miss in my area. Surely ATT will provide some sort of combination data plan for those of us who use all the wonderful Apple products; iPhone and mac and iPad! If not, perhaps Apple should reconsider the exclusive agreement with them in favor of someone who can keep up and soar to the heights that Apple reaches with each new launch!

Banking says:

Thank God for internet banking, I say. I have three very active accounts, three very active children and one very time-consuming job, so going to the bank became almost impossible for me and my husband. But, nowadays we have an iphone and do most our banking online while on the move. It has made my life so much simpler. Many of the sites listed at www.dozenbanks.com have the online banking facility and I hope they all develop iphone banking apps.