Verizon will throw in a MiFi mobile hotspot as part of its deal. Shades of iPhones to come?
Two big iPad announcements Thursday:
- A press release from Apple (AAPL) announcing that starting Oct. 28, more than 2,200 AT&T (T) stores will begin selling Apple’s Wi-Fi+3G iPads at the usual prices: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB. The data plans are unchanged: $14.99 per month for 250MB and $25 per month for 2GB with no term contract.
- A press release from Verizon (VZ) announcing that it too will be selling iPads starting Oct. 28 at more than 2,000 Verizon stores. To get around the fact that Apple doesn’t make iPads with CDMA chips, Verizon is bundling Wi-Fi-only iPads with Verizon MiFi mobile hotspots for the same price as a Wi-Fi+3G iPad. Verizon’s data plan offers 1GB for $20 a month. UPDATE: It doesn’t say so in the press release, but Verizon’s data plan, like AT&T’s, can be terminated at any time without penalty, a Verizon first.
The Verizon deal also marks the first time Apple has struck a bargain with the U.S.’s largest carrier — the one that famously rejected Steve Jobs’ pitch for the iPhone four years ago. Both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported last week that Verizon will begin selling a CDMA iPhone in 2011.
According to RBC Capital’s Mike Abramsky, the two iPad deals give Apple 4,200 new points of distribution in time for the holiday sales season. Separately, Apple had already arranged to sell iPads at more than 5,000 Target (TGT), BestBuy (BBY) and Walmart (WMT) stores.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Verizon Wireless to get iPad into the hands of even more customers this holiday season,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s COO in the Verizon press release.
“As we approach the holiday season,” Cook said in the Apple press release, “we are very happy that customers will now be able to buy iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at AT&T Stores.”
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]