Verizon Is Set To Start Selling The iPad On October 28
Early Thursday morning, Verizon Wireless announced that it will begin selling Apple's iPad at its 2,000 retail stores nationwide on Oct. 28. This announcement, ends AT&T's exclusive grip as the sole distributor for Apple's fanatically popular tablet, and sets the stage for a broader partnership between Apple and Verizon.
To provide portfolio diversity, Verizon Wireless is planning on offering three iPad bundles, each featuring an iPad Wi-Fi model and a separate Verizon mobile hotspot device. The retail prices are expected to range from $630 for a 16 GB iPad to $830 for the 64 GB model. Those prices will match the cost of Apple's WiFi + 3G iPads, which currently comes with built-in 3G capabilities. Stand-alone, Wi-Fi only iPads -- which Verizon will also carry - will begin retailing at $500.
While it is true that current AT&T iPad customers can already run their Wi-Fi iPads over non-AT&T networks (by using external devices), the Verizon partnership is unique. This partnership marks the first time that Apple has linked up to sell its devices with a U.S. wireless partner other than AT&T, and signals a change in Apple's marketing strategy.
More importantly, many industry insiders believe that this partnership is the first of many between Apple and Verizon. In fact, many insiders believe that Verizon is working on bringing Apple's iPhone to its network in early 2011.