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With reports that some new iPads sucking up a GB an hour, maybe we aren't ready for 4G data plans
Even as the new iPad continued to clock in record sales in record time, it appears that it matters much less if the device is 3G, 4G, or boosted with LTE technology since very few people actually use the cellular network when using their device.
Out of the millions of iPads in circulation, only 10% of them are 3G or 4G enabled. That means that people are opting to for the smaller price-tag and one-time price for the Apple product rather than the additional $100 and monthly data plan prices.
Localytics app analytics looked at iPad devices to find that 89.7% of the Apple tablets are Wi-Fi-only, 8.8% are 3G enabled and 1.5% are 4G. That's a big gap considering all the talk Apple, AT&T and Verizon have been doing about the wonders of that the mobile device conjures up.
Then, using data from apps that run on its mobile analytics platform, Localytics found that in the last week, only 6% of all sessions on iPads were coming from cellular networks, with the rest coming from WiFi browsing.
And even those that have 3G or 4G capabilities are using the networks less than half of the time. For 3G enabled devices, 55% of the time the devices are using Wi-Fi and for 4G enabled iPads, only 36% of the time are they using that extra-speedy service.
Use of a cellular network one-third to half of the time is quite a lot of data usage, and since those numbers were collected during the first week that the new iPad was in circulation, the usage numbers for the 4G devices may see a plummet very soon for a couple reasons.
First, people were very excited by the great screen and new device and were probably showing their toy off to everyone. And second, because that new screen and speed is devouring their pre-allotted few gigabytes of data usage in, what some have reported, as soon as a single day. Yikes!
For some people that wanted to partake in March Madness using their 4G LTE iPad, just two hours of basketball could take up almost 2GB (for some that is their entire data allotment).
And based on some subscription rates, each GB after the data plan set amount would cost $10. At that rate, a $30 plan would add up to $320 per month.
So for those excited by the great specs and beautiful Web surfing and video viewing quality, there are going to have to make sure to turn off their 4G service unless they are ready to pony up at the end of the month.
One other possible outcome from this data sucking reality is that cellular network providers may need to recalculate their pricing models for 4G devices. If a based data plan only covers 2 hours of high-res video viewing, that may not be a logical base plan anymore.
I also reported on another option that some people who love the mobility factor of their tech devices can take. Companies such as NetZero are providing personal hotspots with 4G capability for less expensive models.
NetZero's new hot spots and monthly plans allow people to use their Wi-Fi only tablets get a 4G boost so that they get the speed but aren't paying for the more expensive iPad and can consume high res video without completely depleating their data plan.
NetZero, previously known for its bargain pricing for dial-up Internet, has debuted two 4G Internet devices and five monthly payment plans for those that want to stay connected everywhere they go.
The two devices are the NetZero Stick and the NetZero HotSpot. For $50, a user can order a NetZero stick that fits right into their laptop (or netbook) and provides 4G Internet with great coverage in 80 US cities. The NetZero HotSpot, on the other hand is $100 and works to bring 4G connectivity to laptops, netbooks, iPads, tablets and other Wi-fi enabled devices -- and can offer the same speed with multiple devices running on the connection at the same time.
I'm sure the in coming months Apple, AT&T and Verizon will have to offer more solutions for this problem but until then, remember to use your Wi-Fi to save yourself shock when you get your cellular bill.
(Image Source: techlokal.com)
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