AT&T announces Modio Smartcase to connect Wi-Fi-only iPads to LTE

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Today at CES 2015, AT&T unveiled the Modio Smartcase for iPad, designed to connect Wi-Fi-only models to AT&T's LTE network. It works like any other mobile hotspot, and there are models compatible with both the iPad Air and iPad Air 2, as well as all three versions of the iPad mini.

The Modio also contains a 4,600mAh battery to provide up to 10 hours of use of the hotspot, along with a microSD card slot for 32GB of extra storage for your iPad via AT&T's Modio Data companion app. Pricing and availability of the Modio Smartcase has not yet been announced.

Press release:

AT&T Modio Smartcase to Provide 4G LTE Connectivity for iPad with Wi-Fi Models

First Protective Smartcase that Provides 4G LTE Connectivity to be Available in U.S. Exclusively at AT&T

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2015 – AT&T1 will be offering the first U.S. smartcase of its kind that can help you connect Wi-Fi only models of iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini to the network with the nation's strongest 4G LTE signal.2 AT&T Modio™ smartcase will be available in AT&T stores and for iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini with Wi-Fi models initially, followed by iPad Air 2 and iPad Air with Wi-Fi models. The durable smartcase will initially provide 4G LTE connectivity with a Mobile Share plan to iPad with Wi-Fi models only. More information regarding pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.

"The AT&T Modio smartcase gives you the freedom and convenience to connect your Wi-Fi only tablet to AT&T's blazing fast 4G LTE network," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Device Marketing and Developer Services – AT&T Mobility. "Secure and easy to set up and use, AT&T is proud to deliver you another industry first, enabling you to stay connected at home or while on-the-go."

The AT&T Modio smartcase comes with a 4,600mAh dedicated battery providing you with up to 10 hours3 of continuous use and even expands your iPad memory capacity so that you can have and take more of your content with you. It comes with a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB of storage. You can also monitor and manage your data usage using the accompanying AT&T Modio Data application.4

In addition to being the nation's most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T's network now also has the nation's strongest LTE signal.2 AT&T's network is designed to allow customers to do the things they love on their LTE wireless devices – such as stream music and videos or surf the Web – with less likelihood of LTE data interruptions due to poor signal strength than the other national carriers.

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Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • It may not seen like it, but, this is a big deal. Why? The WiFi versions of iPads are usually the first to go on sale. Plus, they're already cheaper than their LTE counterparts. Buying this case not only provides protection, it provides cellular connection and expandable storage without the need for an external device. That's a win, in my book.
  • Got to see it in person first but its a great idea for wifi ipads. Btw how much would it cost?
  • So, would this get set up with AT&T the same way as adding any other device? Meaning, would it be added to my data plan?
  • I'm sure, it would be. AT&T will treat this as a mobile hotspot.
  • Yup, you can configure it like any other mobile hotspot, the exact details of which depends on what services and plans you're using.
  • I'd be inclined to use my phone as a hotspot for my wifi iPad before resorting to this...
  • And that's fine for the occasional and casual use. But for those who later realize they need/want a data connection frequently, this is useful, because using your phone as a hotspot is a sure fire way to significantly increase battery drain. So in addition to giving people a cheap after-market upgrade to LTE if they change their mind and/or couldn't previously afford it, this case also offers some level of protection and a little more storage for your device. Is this for everyone? Of course not, but I can definitely see a small-medium market for this thing.
  • So spend as much on and Ipad and a case that you may or may not like and still not have gps which is surprisingly handy in these devices or just buy and LTE model and get a case you actually like. Decisions, decisions. Sent from the iMore App
  • The price of this will determine if it's actually worth it. The combined price for the iPad and the case has to be cheaper or it won't be worth it. Sent from the iMore App
  • Anything higher than 50 bucks, not worth it. Sent from the iMore App