Oct, 14 2010

ipadVerizon Wireless just issued a press release announcing the launch of the Apple iPad on October 28th in over 2,000 Verizon Wireless stores. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the start of a new frontier in the Android vs. Apple war and the details make it even more interesting.

The Verizon iPad will NOT be sold as a CDMA device – rather it will be a Wi-Fi only iPad that is bundled with the company’s MiFi service allowing a mobile modem of sorts. Whereas the AT&T iPad can simply roam around and get service via AT&T’s 3G signal, the Verizon version will require an external device – or a $20/month Android Mobile Hotspot Contract – to get the job done.

Either way, this is a huge symbolic shift in the way mobile politics are being played and it definitely foreshadows changes to come. Android and Apple have been very secluded in their own little carrier worlds. AT&T has had the exclusive contract on the iPhone for some time. Since the launch of the Motorola Droid, Verizon and the “Droid” campaign have been the dominating Android influence. The Verizon vs. AT&T war has run parallel to the Android vs. Apple war, accentuated by AT&T being the last carrier to get an Android device. And when they did get an Android, they did a bit of locking down.

The implications are obvious- this totally opens the door for the Verizon iPhone 4G early next year. The fact is that Verizon and Apple are now officially working together. There is a clear partnership. The remaining hurdle is stuffing CDMA specs inside Apple devices, something that hasn’t  yet been done, but something that we’re now pretty darn sure will come soon. And of course with Verizon getting the iPhone, and other carriers possibly getting the iPhone as well, it makes Android’s competitive landscape in the United States much, MUCH different.

How quickly will Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers adopt the iPhone vs Android if given the choice? We’re not sure when or if they’ll all get the choice, but it’s quite possible that Android’s growth – at least domestically – could slow with Apple offering the iPhone directly against Android offerings on lineups besides AT&T.

Another interesting point is that the Verizon iPad will be going head to head with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Android device that won’t need a MiFi mobile modem/hotspot in order to collect 3G data. So on Verizon do you go with the Galaxy Tab? Or with the iPad Wi-Fi and Verizon MiFi service plan?

The question is rhetorical… I’m pretty sure I know what everyone reading this will answer. But it’s a question that many, many customers will be asking.

The Apple & Android showdown has been pretty fun for everyone involved. Not to mention, it’s been GREAT for consumers who are seeing manufacturers and carriers push devices, capabilities, and prices to the limits. But with an Apple product being sold within the House That Droid Built? Let the games begin… everything up until now was just preseason.

Full press release from Verizon and Apple below:

Verizon Wireless Offers iPad at Stores Nationwide on October 28

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. & CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Verizon Wireless and Apple® today announced that iPad™ will be available at over 2,000 Verizon Wireless Stores nationwide beginning Thursday, October 28. Verizon Wireless will offer three bundles, all featuring an iPad Wi-Fi model and a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, for a suggested retail price of $629.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 16GB + MiFi, $729.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 32GB + MiFi and $829.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 64GB + MiFi. Verizon Wireless is offering a monthly access plan to iPad customers of up to 1GB of data for just $20 a month. In addition, Verizon Wireless will also offer all three iPad Wi-Fi models on a stand-alone basis.

“iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.”
“This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels,” said John Stratton, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. “iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Verizon Wireless to get iPad into the hands of even more customers this holiday season,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s COO. “iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before, and together with Verizon Wireless we’re offering an easy way to stay connected wherever you go.”

iPad allows users to browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, all using iPad’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ user interface. iPad Wi-Fi models are just 0.5 inches thick and weigh just 1.5 pounds—thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook—and deliver up to 10 hours of battery life.*

Apple’s App Store℠ offers iPad users access to the world’s largest catalog of apps with over 280,000 apps and more than 30,000 iPad specific apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. With Apple’s iBookstore℠, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device, iPad users have access to more than 100,000 books from major and independent publishers.

MiFi 2200 is small enough to fit in a pocket and allows customers to create a personal Wi-Fi cloud capable of sharing the high-speed Internet connectivity of the Verizon Wireless 3G Mobile Broadband network with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The MiFi 2200’s rechargeable battery provides up to four hours of active use and 40 hours of standby time on a single charge.

Customers can sign up for more information on Apple’s iPad together with Verizon Wireless’ MiFi 2200 at www.verizonwireless.com/iPad, at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store or by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN.

*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 92 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

We will be reading the infinite number of comments sure to accumulate below.

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