Sprint Goes After the iPad

Not every mobile phone company out there has a flagship product like the iPhone or iPad to push their plans, so some of them are thinking a bit outside of the box. Like Sprint, for example. They have a new product named the Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, which creates a mobile internet connection for 5 devices using Sprint’s network. Apple’s iPad is currently only available with Wi-Fi, so why not make it more mobile using the Overdrive? That’s the basic concept here, so they’re now pushing a new concept: Go to Best Buy and purchase an Overdrive, an for a limited time, you get the iPad case for free.

You can make the argument that it’s more expensive to get an iPad Wi-Fi, the Overdrive, and monthly service than it is to get an iPad Wi-Fi+3G, mostly because the AT&T plan isn’t contract based, unlike the Overdrive – and you’d be right. But this is actually something I’ve considered myself, and something I’m researching for Apple Gazette.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pay for multiple data plans. At the same time, I’m thoroughly unsatisfied with AT&T service, particularly in my area. I’m not so dissatisfied though that I’d pay $60 a month for a plan, so at first, the Overdrive doesn’t make sense.

But I travel. Not very often, but I do. And when I do, I’m typically paying $10-$15 a day for hotel Wi-Fi, which typically sucks. If I had an Overdrive or Verizon Mi-Fi, and I travelled four days out of the month, this purchase would make sense. Then I could use it for Wi-Fi for my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook, all without worrying about speed or connectivity.

This concept came to me a month or so ago, so I contacted both Verizon and Sprint. Verizon contacted me and let me know that they’d let me use a Verizon Mi-Fi for a month to try out, and I’ve been doing so off and on. A formal review is coming up, but this is an interesting concept. Fact is, if AT&T allowed tethering, I wouldn’t even be considering this as an option. But since they aren’t, other companies are willing to profit from their shortsightedness. It seems dumb at first to pitch a Sprint iPad case, but upon further review, it might be the smartest idea long term.

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