Verizon iPad going head-to-head with AT&T

Verizon MiFi

The Verizon MiFi device creates the link that makes a Verizon iPad possible. Image: scriptingnews / Flickr / CC-BY-SA

Verizon Wireless today announced that on Oct. 28 the Apple iPad will be available in its stores. Though the Verizon iPad will not use the 3G cellular network, it will be bundled with cell-network Wi-Fi to provide internet access. This workaround, long touted by iPad users who are also Verizon customers, will be sold for $629 plus access charges.

Verizon’s iPad network solution

The Verizon iPad will not use the CDMA network, despite many who were hoping this would be the first step to getting the iPhone on Verizon. Instead, Verizon Wireless will bundle the Wi-Fi iPad (usually sold for $499) with the Verizon “MiFi” device. The MiFi takes cellular network signals and transfers them into a local wireless network. Sold together, the MiFi and Wi-Fi iPad combination will be able to access Verizon Wireless’s 3G network. The monthly access charge will start at $20 for 1 gigabyte of data transfer.

Verizon iPad means more Verizon iPhone rumors

There has long been a rumor that Verizon wireless would start offering an iPhone. Neither company has officially announced a Verizon iPhone release date, and neither has confirmed any rumor up to this point. AT&T still carries the exclusive contract for the iPhone. AT&T will also be selling an iPad in store. The $629 price will be the same as Verizon, though the data access charges will be $25 for 2 gigabytes.

Creating your own Verizon iPhone

Though it is not yet legal to jailbreak an iPhone, it is possible to create a Verizon iPhone legally. An iPod touch is a Wi-Fi enabled device that does everything an iPhone does, except make phone calls. A Verizon MiFi device creates the mobile Wi-Fi hotspot needed to run it. The Google Voice app and functionality, loaded onto the iPod touch, turns your device into a cell phone. Access charges, depending on your data usage, could even be less than the standard iPhone — and you get Google Voice functionality that not even iPhones can offer.

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