AT&T CEO: iPad is a “Wi-Fi Driven Product”

Ever have a dumb friend? Man, I’ve had a few. I new this one kid back in the day who decided that for his first tattoo he’d get a tribal flame starting at his wrist that went up to his elbow. Then the flame would be done with an American flag pattern, with some licks having stars, and some being red. Oh, but he didn’t want to spend a lot of money. $200 later, and he had a pink, crappy looking flame on his forearm, that looked spectacularly bad. He ended up spending over a grand a few years later to fix it.

AT&T reminds me of that dumb friend. They keep telling you that everything is going to be A-OK, but it isn’t. No matter what they tell me, I just never believe them. It’s all cynicism on my end, because I know that next week they’ll be telling me about their cool new tattoo, and all I’ll see is a bunny with a pancake on its head.

Which is why when I read this story on Reuters, I wasn’t particularly shocked.

While AT&T has agreed to provide wireless connections to the iPad tablet computer, Randall Stephenson (AT&T CEO – ed) said he does not expect the device to result in many new service subscriptions for AT&T as consumers will instead use Wi-Fi or prepaid services, where they do not have to sign a service contract.

“My expectation is that there’s not going to be a lot of people out there looking for another subscription,” he said during a webcast of an investor conference, adding that the device would be a mainly “Wi-Fi driven product.”

Ah. So it’s going to look like the American flag, huh?

I don’t like AT&T, I don’t like their 3G coverage. That said, I will most likely buy a 3G iPad, and I imagine a lot of other people will as well. That’s because sometimes it’s a mammoth pain in the butt to get on to a free wi-fi service, whether I’m at Einstein’s Bagels or the library. I’ll want the 3G for when I’m traveling on the road or just at a friend’s house who doesn’t have wi-fi. Sure, the extra cash isn’t awesome, but I really think that I’m going to be one of the millions with an iPad 3G.

Am I wrong?

Comments

  1. Me too – in fact my wife told me that we would be getting a 3G iPad. There was no discussion I was told. This with the knowledge that we have WiFi all over the place. Though it may not be a big thing for a lot of folks for us a 3G will be a perfect fit for a myriad of things including online periodic subscriptions, e-mail, video, and music. We spend an enormous amount of time in the car and we see the 3G option as a great way for the passenger to get some work done.

    We can’t wait to for it to come out.

  2. Reinharden says:

    He didn’t say that there wouldn’t be million of iPad users nor did he say that there wouldn’t be millions of iPad users using AT&T.

    He said that there wouldn’t be millions of iPad users with a *subscription* to AT&T service. As in the default mode of using the iPad with AT&T will be with the no contract, $15 or $30 per month, pre-paid, usage model.

    And he’s probably absolutely right that the preponderance of usage will be over Wi-Fi and not over 3G. I don’t have a link handy, but in the last 3 months Apple somewhere mentioned that on the iPhone the preponderance of data access is over Wi-Fi. It’s hard to imagine that this won’t be more the case on the iPad.

    reinharden

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