Fortune favors the foolish


Whatever, InfoWorld.

The Apple web world is rife today with people telling you which iPad they pre-ordered. If there’s a more disgusting display of first-world conspicuous consumption the horny one is fortunately not aware of it. Really. Sickening.

But anyway, here’s which one he’s getting!

16 GB WiFi only.

Whaaaaat?! Base model?! LAME. FAIL. LOL.

OK, here’s why.

3G – The Macalope struggled over the issue of 3G, but ultimately he thinks what he really wants is ubiquitous access on his MacBook Pro, not an iPad. If one uses the base amount of bandwidth, over the first 8 months the price per MB of adding WiFi to the iPad is about the same as buying a Virgin Mobile broadband card for a laptop and buying their al-la-carte service (after 8 months the Virgin Mobile is more expensive, because that’s the break even point for the additional $30 of adding WiFi to the iPad). The price points are different and Virgin quickly becomes more expensive the more bandwidth you consume (nothing beats a $30/month all-you-can-eat plan), but given the added flexibility it seems like a better option to the Macalope.

Size – When the iPhone first came out, the Macalope bought a 4 GB model and, while he had to make more conscious decisions about what to put on it, he didn’t regret that decision at all. It was fine and only in the last few months of its life cycle did he really feel constrained. Last summer when he upgraded to the 3GS, he bought the 32 GB model which is chock full of movies and TV shows that he never watches. If he ever gets stuck someplace he’ll probably be glad they’re on there, but so far the extra 16 GB has been a bust.

The difference with the iPad, of course, is that he’ll want the movies he’s ripped to be at a higher resolution than he might have on the iPhone and he expects that applications will also be larger. But, unlike the iPhone, there’s no plan to deal with here. If he decides to sell or gift his iPad in a year and upgrade, he can do that.

The combination of a bad economy with an uncertain job market as well is making him a little more cautious with his money.

As Marco Arment, who came to the same conclusion for slightly different reasons, says:

Obviously, your needs will vary from mine, so you might decide differently.

  • Rob:

    “[…] the price per MB of adding WiFi to the iPad […]”

    I keep trying to parse this, but I’m coming up short. I blame Friday.

    Price per MB of adding WiFi?

  • DDA:

    Rob, I believe our host means adding 3G service; it must be a trial to type with those hooves so an occasional mistake seems forgivable.

  • Nate:

    I went with what Gruber did: 32GB Wi-Fi iPad, case, dock (and a BT keyboard, something I’ve never been able to justify).

    I have ~20GB of music that I don’t want to divvy up between it and my poor old PowerBook G4 that needs a break from daily use.

    A webcam will probably make it into the first revision but I don’t see myself using it for video conferencing, so other than the occasional self-portrait, it wouldn’t be enough to upgrade for me.

  • Sorry, Rob. That’s a little clumsy.

    What the Macalope was getting at is just that the AT&T service is provided at $15/month for 250 MB while the Virgin Mobile service is $20/month for 300 MB.

  • zwei:

    I agree with fuzzy.

    I have no problem managing my media. I may put 1-2 movies and maybe a couple GB of music on it at a time. (If we can stream iTunes content to it I’ll be putting even less on.)

    Regardless of what size I’d get, it wouldn’t hold all my media. If I have to pick and choose anyway, I may as well save $200 to put on next year’s model.

  • Rob:

    Oh, oh, oh… I wasn’t clicking with the 3G card in the MacBook plan vs. 3G iPad plan. Now I see — thanks!

  • KiltBear:

    Hmmm, if there is a fool, it’s the guy who wrote the Infoworld article.

    I keep going back and forth. I’m going for 64GB, because I have a lot of music and I want some Video on there, and that adds up quickly.

    I’ve pre-ordered the 3G version, and I reserved the WiFi only. I’ll make my decision April 3, when I can’t stand not having the new toy, and cancel the 3G order. 😛

    But, an extra $130 isn’t “that” much to have the convenience there should I want it… I keep going back and forth…

    But, I’ve jailbroken my iPhone to use it as a MyFi type device, so…

    What to do, what to do…

    Time to go design a bigger mount for inside the car…

  • Lachlan O'Dea:

    We Australians are feeling very left out of the iPad pre-ordering bonanza :-((

  • Confused:

    I find myself in a rather confused state regarding the iPad, why oh why are people going to buy this. Okay, I’m not an Apple lover, but that’s not to say I hate them, their pc’s / laptops are excellent but heres why i’m confused.

    Apple, in particular, have a nasty habbit of rushing stuff out to meat the market, the iPad is no exception – there are lots of things missing from it. People in the post are already talking of upgrades. So let me just get this straight, you’ll spend £500 on one now and then in 12 months time another £500 on iPad mk2 with some of the bits fixed and added.

    Hat off to Steve Jobbs, wish I would have thought of this first.

  • Tony:

    Ah horned one, you had me at (laughing) at cake..

  • Tony:

    Well, not AT-AT just at…

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