In a move that may be a sign of the times, Apple and Verizon have struck a deal to sell the iPad at Verizon retail locations. The basic plan is that Verizon will sell the iPad bundled with a MiFi. For those not familure, the MiFi is a 3G hotspot device that will allow the iPad to connect to the internet via Verizon’s 3G network.
According to the press release, starting Thursday, October 28, Verizon will offer three different bundles and the option to purchase the device on a stand-alone basis:
Verizon Wireless will offer three bundles, all featuring an iPad Wi-Fi model and a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, for a suggested retail price of $629.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 16GB + MiFi, $729.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 32GB + MiFi and $829.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 64GB + MiFi. Verizon Wireless is offering a monthly access plan to iPad customers of up to 1GB of data for just $20 a month. In addition, Verizon Wireless will also offer all three iPad Wi-Fi models on a stand-alone basis.
This relationship is a stark contrast to the past several years where Apple has been tied exclusively to AT&T for all of its mobile data needs. Also, this isn’t a Verizon only deal where they are buying the iPad to only resell, Verizon worked directly with Apple to make this deal happen.
Tim Cook, the COO of Apple is quoted as saying:
We’re thrilled to be working with Verizon Wireless to get iPad into the hands of even more customers this holiday season,” and the “iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before, and together with Verizon Wireless we’re offering an easy way to stay connected wherever you go.
While this may not be any direct confirmation that an iPhone is on the horizon for Verizon, it is a positive sign that Verizon and Apple are holding high level talks.