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iPad 2 Ready For Close-Up As Verizon Reveals Rates

3/10/2011 10:47:23 AM Eastern

New York-
Verizon Wireless revealed its pricing plans for iPad
2 tablets
with embedded 3G service on the eve of the product's broad
rollout through multiple retail outlets.

The iPad 2 goes
on sale at 5 p.m. Friday local time in AT&T and Verizon Wireless stores,
Apple stores, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and select other authorized resellers,
Apple said. AT&T, however, will also launch online sales on Friday at 1
a.m. Pacific Time Friday at www.att.com/ipad.

 AT&T also revealed its rate plan for
activating the personal hot spot feature on AT&T-activated iPhones when
loaded with the new iOS 4.3 operating system.

In revealing its
iPad rate plans, Verizon Wireless said it will offer three iPad 2 models with
embedded Verizon-network 3G and Wi-Fi. They're priced at $629.99 for the 16GB
model, $729.99 for the 32GB model, and $829.99 for the 64GB model, all
available in black or white.

 For these models, Verizon will offer four data
plans, beginning at $20 per month. All are available without a contract,
enabling users to drop service at any time without a financial penalty. Verizon
didn't say whether, like AT&T, it would offers its iPad 2 rate plans on
both a prepaid basis on a credit card as well as on a postpaid basis on a
customer's monthly phone bill.

The Verizon
plans are $20/month for 1GB of data, $35/month for 3GB of data, $50/month for
5GB and $80/month for 10GB. The cost of overage charges wasn't available.

AT&T's previously announced iPad 2
rate plans are the same as its smartphone data plans at $14.99 for 250MB or $25
for 2GB of data, both available without activation fees on a prepaid basis and
a postpaid basis.

For a limited
time, customers who activate a new postpaid $25 2GB plan get the first month
free.

 On a postpaid basis, AT&T customers who
exceed their monthly data allotment will be billed $14.99 for another 250MB on
the $14.99 plan or $10 per 1GB of overage on the 2GB plan. Overage charges on
the prepaid versions of the plans are as follows:  Users of the 250MB $14.99 plan will be able
to buy another 250MB at the full $14.99 price, and 2GB plan users will be able
to pay $25 for another 2GB.

To activate the
AT&T iPhone's Personal Hotspot feature, which is available with the new iOS
4.3, consumers must choose the iPhone's $25/month 2GB data plan and pay an additional
$20 for the tethering option, which provides an extra 2GB of data for a total
of 4GB.

For its part, Best Buy said
that iPad 2 will be available at all Best Buy stores and select Best Buy
Mobile stand-alone locations at 5 p.m. local time on Friday. In
addition, customers will be given tickets to purchase the iPad2 on a first-come
first-serve basis at 4:30 p.m. local time.

 Best Buy is also offering the opportunity to
reserve an iPad 2 for in-store pick-up beginning March 12 with fully refundable
$100 deposit. 

On its website, Best Buy is offering the
Wi-Fi-only, Verizon and AT&T versions in all three capacities, almost all
of them in a choice of black or white.

In Best Buy stores, a spokesman told TWICE, all locations will offer the Wi-Fi-only versions, and the AT&T and Verizon versions will be limited to the chain's Apple Sales Consultant (ASC) stores, where Apple stations its own employees in Best Buy stores.