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Apple iPad2 AT&T or Verizon In the USA

Today, hundreds of thousands of iPad2s will be sold in all kinds of flavors. WiFi only, WiFi + 3G on AT&T or WiFi + EVDO/3G from Verizon. And like many people who are somewhat frustrated with their experience on AT&T in some markets in the USA, there will be some thought given to buying a Verizon iPad2.

In looking at the situation realistiacally, the current thinking will either revolve around price for the data plan, or usage outside of the USA. Beyond that for the most part, the devices are similar. As a major user of Skype and VoIP, I'm always looking at the device's capabilities in that regard, and have verified with Skype PR's team in the USA that Skype on iPad2 will function just as it does on iPad1 and on Apple iOS mobile devices, allowing calls over 3G on both AT&T and Verizon. This is different than the Motorola Zoom, the Android tablet where Skype's current Android client does allow you to make 3G calls in the USA on any of the Android devices, only over WiFi. Outside of the USA the Skype client on Android does work with Voice over 3G as long as the carriers don't block it.If you think back to Skype on the iPhone it too only worked over WiFi initially, but now works over 3G on AT&T. Like with everything from Verizon Wireless, everything new takes a little longer to arrive. My guess is that Android calling issue goes away as soon as LTE comes along, and as Skype keeps warming up its relationship with Verizon Wireless. At one point last year, reports came to me that Verizon had actually made a low ball offer to Skype to purchase the company, shortly after the IPO was filed.

For the Apple iPad, you're an international traveler, or someone who plans on being out of the USA with your iPad and needs more than WiFi only access, then the AT&T model is the one for you. Over the past five and a half weeks I was able to easily obtain SIM micro SIM's in Portugal, Spain, France and the UK for my iPad and make use of it on a pre-paid basis. Even more, I was able to use Skype and other VoIP clients on it, as if I was still back in the USA in Portugal and the UK, but found that Yoigo in Spain and SFR in France did block Skype and VoIP on the pre-paid accounts. But, beyond that, all of my apps, services and even iTunes access behaved as normal as could be, convincing me to go with the AT&T model today

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Thanks for coverage of iPad2. Regarding AT&T 3G on the iPad2, the good fellows over at AnandTech have this very interesting nugget of an observation (6 down 1.5 up on 3G - cool! But also a little bit disappointing on less WiFi reception compared to iPad 1st generation).

Andy, do you use your iPad to deliver presentations using the Keynote app? I'm hoping that the iPad2's much improved graphics capability along with its dual core CPU will make for a better and more fuller (transitions between slides, support of embedded video codecs, etc.) presentation device and hence no need to use a full fledged MacBook to do this.

Computerworld asks the question iPad 2 selling out in US, but is it safe? and complains that Apple's iOS 4.3 has important security updates but this update won't work on previous iPhones (3G or older) or iPod touches (2nd generation or older) and the worry is that Apple is intentionally hyper innovating with short cycles (two iPads in less than one year?) in order to keep the cash cow going and intentionally unnecessarily deprecating older devices that should otherwise run just fine.

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