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.

Kevin Whipps

Kevin Whipps is a copy editor, writer, photographer and custom car builder based in the Phoenix, Ariz. area. For the past 10 years he's been building his portfolio, mostly in the automotive publishing industry. When he's not wrenching on cars, most of his time is spent discovering new gadgets and toys, and of course, using everything Apple. Whipps is also married, and has a baby boy, Kevin Whipps Jr., coming on February 7, 2010.


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