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Surprising Science

“Fatal Attraction”

While enthusiasts will claim a fatal attraction to Apple’s new touch screen tablet “iPad”, critics have warned that the Wi-Fi and 3G device will suffer for its exclusivity to the AT&T network.

“Prior to the unveiling of the 9.7-inch device Wednesday, a few vague rumors suggested Verizon would carry the tablet. Instead, Jobs announced two versions of the iPad: a Wi-Fi only model and an unlocked, Wi-Fi + 3G model for use on GSM networks. The Verizon network operates on the CDMA standard, meaning Verizon won’t be able to support the iPad. Why not Verizon? Apple must be keenly aware of the incessant AT&T bashing from iPhone owners. And yet AT&T will be the primary U.S. carrier for the tablet, just as it is for the iPhone. However, the tablet’s situation is different from the iPhone’s, analysts told Wired.com. First of all, this isn’t a phone. The iPad is a data-driven, media-rich device that you’ll primarily be using in your living room. Second, the tablet does not require committing to a contract for 3G. You can prepay a month ($15 for 250 MB or $30 for unlimited) for when you’re traveling, for example, and then cancel the 3G and just use the Wi-Fi. But why not Verizon? Surely, Apple must have at least thought twice about sticking with AT&T as its official U.S. partner for the iPad. Dissatisfaction with AT&T did, after all, incite a consumer protest attempting to bring down its network with digital sabotage.”


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