Date: 2010-02-06 07:58 (UTC)
While I think the base iPad price is pretty cmpetitive, it's my feeling they should have worked at making the extra fee for the 3G/A-GPS hardware something more like $70. Unfortunately, I doubt they could do much about the charge for the 3G data plan: while people point to the Kindle and nook and their free cellular service, it's probably reasonable to assume that iPad users are going to use, well, a lot more free cellular service than ebook readers do. Eventually, I suspect phone companies will start offering "consolidated" plans that work for multiple devices, sort of the equivalent of family calling plans but for the nerd who has both the smart phone, the iPad, and possibly a laptop with a 3G card. I know for my part, the idea of slapping on another $30 a month is unappealing enough that I probably won't do it. Probably. :)

Large-scale municipal wifi projects seem to have mostly collapsed, but the overall number of public hotspots seems to be growing at the same time the practice of charging for them has been falling out of favor -- Barnes & Nobles, Borders, Peet's, and even McDonald's all have free wifi, and Starbucks offers free wifi to people who use Starbucks cards. Forgoing 3G does mean I won't be able to get data on the iPad when I'm not near a wireless network, but I'm not sure how much of an issue that will be for me with an iPad compared to, say, any smartphone (i- or otherwise).
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