Verizon Wireless -- the pairing of Verizon
AT&T deserves this. It tripped Apple up just weeks after the 3G iPads became available in late April. Apple charges $130 more for the 3G model over the Wi-Fi-only units, but it was originally tied to an unlimited data plan for $30 a month through AT&T.
In June, AT&T decided to stop marketing unlimited data plans to new customers. The only plans available now are $15 for 200 megs and $25 for 2 gigabytes. It may seem like less, but this is a potential roadblock for a device where its two most popular third-party downloads at launch were streaming applications for Netflix
Verizon Wireless isn't coming to the rescue for those who want the confidence and flexibility of unlimited connectivity. Its data plan will set owners back $20 a month, but it's capped at a single gigabyte. It's a pity. Verizon really could have wrestled away the iPad 3G market from AT&T if it had come in with an unlimited plan, but now it will have to bank on its network's heartier reputation to drive buyers.
The larger story, of course, is that Verizon probably wouldn't be offering one Apple product come Oct. 29 if the iPhone wasn't coming sooner rather than later. Why promote Apple's brand and expose Apple's sticky iOS platform to Verizon Wireless loyalists?
The iPad is coming to Verizon -- and the iPhone can't be all that far behind.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is starting to see more Apple products creep into his home lately. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, except for Disney, Netflix, and Novatel. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.