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iPad Hacked to Insert Verizon MiFi Device

A surprising article over on a Dish Network reseller website reveals an iPad 3G hack that incorporates Verizon's portable hot-spot device, the MiFi. This enables the Apple tablet to not only ignore AT&T and connect to Verizon's 3G network, but to serve as a local hot-spot for other Wi-Fi capable devices. The end result shows an incredible increase in speed based on tests conducted with a SpeedTest.net application.

Rather than merely jailbreaking the iPhone OS to incorporate a software solution to tether Verizon's device, the hacker instead removed the iPad's back panel and ripped out AT&T's 3G card altogether. "You’ll see it has two connections for the 3G antenna, one on the screen (not shown) and one at the top of the iPad (hence the black plastic bar on the 3G model)," he said, referring to a picture of the AT&T component still seated in the tablet. "This is the very reason I didn’t buy a WiFi iPad, but opted to pay extra for the 3G components. I did this only to remove what I paid the extra cash for!"

After the AT&T card was removed, the hacker then attacked the Verizon MiFi shell and removed its small circuit board located inside. While nearly the same size as the AT&T component, the MiFi circuit board was more rectangular in shape, thus it wouldn't fit in the original spot. The hacker had no choice but to trim down the iPad's resonating chamber--this was accomplished with minimal loss to sound quality. The MiFi board also received a few tweaks long before its insertion: its power button was removed, and the hacker also had to determine how the board was actually powered correctly.

But what about the speed test? Based on the app, the hacker's iPhone had a download speed of 193 kbps and an upload speed of 42 kbps when using the AT&T 3G service. However when the Verizon MiFi board was successfully up and running, the test showed that the iPad had a download speed of 1192 kbps and an upload speed of 693 kbps. That's a big difference.

To see how this iPad was modded, head here for a step-by-step pictorial.