Choosing Between the Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G Apple iPad 2

Choosing Between the Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi +3G Apple iPad 2

Which iPad 2 is for You?

And thus, the news is finally official. Apple's iPad 2, which was slated for an April launch in Singapore, has been given an actual launch date on 29th April. The iPad 2 will be available to order from 1am via Apple's online store, or from 10am through Apple's authorized resellers. Now, if you're still not too familiar with the iPad 2's features, you might want to check out our review first.

To give you a better idea of how the prices stand, let's compare the prices of the first iPad and the iPad 2, specifically the 16GB Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G version in the following table:

iPad Editions Launch Price Current Price
iPad Wi-Fi 16GB S$728 S$538
iPad 2 Wi-Fi 16GB S$668 S$668
iPad Wi-Fi +3G 16GB S$928 S$718
iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G 16GB S$848 S$848

Considering the prices from less than a year ago, you'll notice that the iPad 2's introductory prices are lower than its predecessor. Also, the additional top-up that goes into the 3G version has been reduced from S$200 to S$180. In our review, we did view the iPad 2 more as an "iPad 1.5". If you're an existing iPad user, you can probably give this a miss to build up on your gadget savings. For those who are taking their first step into the tablet scene, specifically for the Apple iOS ecosystem, the iPad 2's pricing is suitably reasonable and won't be too much of a dent to your wallet. However, given the adjusted pricing of the first iPad, and an even lower price point for its refurbished sets, you might want to be quick to get the original iPad before it's out of stock.

So, once you've made your decision, and you're ready to adopt the iPad 2, let us pose a question to you - do you need the Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G version? A recent study by TNS shows that 76% of potential tablet owners are purchasing it as an additional mobile device. Meanwhile, a 72% smartphone ownership within Singapore complements this number, which points to a likely trend that a tablet adopter is already a smartphone user. As of now, the smartphone market is dominated by the same Apple iOS used on the iPad 2, or Google's Android platform. Both platforms have had various updates, one of which is the creation of mobile wireless hotspots using the phone's 3G connection. With that in mind, if you are at least an iPhone 4 or Google Android 2.2 (or newer) mobile phone user, you have a Wi-Fi connection readily available for the iPad 2.

Here's a visual guide to helping you make a decision on which version of the iPad 2 to get:-

However, if you wish to preserve your smartphone's battery life, or prefer to do away with the hassle of starting the wireless hotspot from your smartphone, we say the 3G version is still a nice add-on to have. That is, if you are willing to fork out the additional S$180 that comes with the cellular connection enabled model. Taking the 3G route will require you to take on a mobile data plan. But that's not much of a worry if you are already a smartphone user with an accompanying data plan. Typically, these price plans with data bundle run along the range of S$36 to S$39 for its lowest level plan, with 12GB of local data usage provided and capped at S$30 for excess data beyond the 12GB bundle. All you need to do, is request for an additional multi-SIM for the iPad 2. The additional cost will vary accordingly for each telco, with SingTel and M1 offering this optional service at S$10.70 per month for the additional microSIM card, while StarHub offers the multi-SIM service at a more affordable S$5.35 per month.