But, I'm cool with that.
While I'm happy Apple is getting on board with LTE, it's not yet enough of a selling point to have to run out and buy a new one. Here's why I'm not upgrading (yet):
- I never use 3G on my iPad 2. I've paid for it for two months in a row, thinking I'd take my iPad everywhere, but found myself in range of free Wi-Fi whenever I wanted to use it. Despite what AT&T's Glenn Lurie says -- that those who turn on 3G set it to automatic renewal -- I think I'm more similar the majority of iPad users. (See AT&T: Most iPads Stay Connected.)
- LTE isn't everywhere yet. Verizon covers 200 million POPs with LTE and AT&T covers 74 million. I'm in Chicago where both carriers have an LTE network up and running, but the LTE version would likely come in handy the most while I'm traveling. And, there's no guarantee LTE networks will be operating in the cities that I visit but there is a guarantee that 3G service will be easy to find. (See Mapping LTE: AT&T & Verizon's 4G Footprints.)
- Data plans bring me to tiers. With the new iPad's beautiful 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina display and 1080p video recording, I'd want to do a lot of video watching and maybe even uploading. If the data caps remain the same for the new iPad with LTE as they are on the iPad 2, I would bust past them in no time, making my iPad habit incredibly expensive. AT&T and Verizon haven't announced data plan pricing, nor what the caps will be, but if the new data plans don't contain the word "unlimited," I doubt they'll be all that compelling. (See Balancing Faster 4G Data & Tighter Caps and Mobile Upload Uprising.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to see LTE included in the iPad, especially since it's out of Apple's character to be on the cutting edge of networks. It'll be important to move the entire ecosystem forward, and the iPad is the perfect showcase for its 4G speeds.
But, LTE just isn't enough to cause me to upgrade my tablet while the old one still has that fresh new Apple smell to it.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile