Thursday Verizon Wireless said that it will offer the new Apple iPad 2 at select stores nationwide beginning Friday, March 11 at 5pm local time.
According to Verizon, it will provide three models supporting Wi-Fi and its CDMA 3G network including the 16 GB model @ $629.99, the 32 GB model @ $729.99, and the 64 GB model @ $829.99. All three will be available in both black and white, and will be sold unsubsidized without the typical Verizon contract.
Verizon currently offers a 3G data plan in various flavors, ranging from $20 per month to $80 per month. The plans do not require a contract, and can be started and canceled at any time. Verizon's contract-less 3G data plans include 1 GB per month for $20, 3 GB per month for $35, 5 GB per month for $50 and 10 GB per month for $80.
In addition to Verizon's announcement, AT&T also said that it will offer the new iPad 2 on Friday at 5pm local time; online sales will begin at 1am pacific time here. Currently AT&T is listing the older Wi-Fi + 3G models, offering the 16 GB version for $529, the 32 GB version for $629, and the 64 GB version for $729.
But unlike Verizon, AT&T will offer two contract-less options: pre-paid via a credit card, or post-paid via an existing monthly wireless statement. Both options are limited to just two data plans including $14.99 per month for 250 MB and $25 per month for 2 GB. As before, post-paid customers are billed an additional month when exceeding the monthly data allotment, or must pay for an additional month when their pre-paid data feed runs dry.
AT&T also said that iPad 2 hotspot and tethering features will be supported. "The Personal Hotspot feature being introduced with iOS 4.3 is also available to customers who choose the $25 plan plus a $20 tethering option that provides an extra 2 GB of data," the company said.
Apple will reportedly begin taking pre-orders on Apple.com at 4am EST / 1am PST Friday morning. Best Buy, Target and Walmart will also offer the iPad 2 Friday starting at 5PM local time.