The iPad

(Credit: Apple)

Apple's iPad is available through Verizon Wireless and AT&T as of today.

Verizon is selling the Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad bundled with a MiFi Mobile Hotspot that lets people connect to the carrier's 3G network on the tablet computer. Verizon is offering the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB iPad models for $629.99, $729.99, and $829.99, respectively. Verizon is also selling the iPad without the MiFi bundle for $499, $599, and $699, depending on the desired capacity.

According to Verizon, the carrier is offering four data plans. The cheapest option offers 1GB of monthly data for $20. The prices go up to $35, $50, and $80 per month for 3GB, 5GB, and 10GB of monthly usage, respectively. Verizon said that its plans are month-to-month, so people are not required to sign a contract to access its 3G network.

Although AT&T has been the carrier for iPads with 3G access, it hadn't directly sold the tablet computers until today. Unlike Verizon, AT&T is offering the iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G, which means customers won't need an additional device to access 3G. AT&T is offering the iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G for $629, $729, and $829, depending on the customer's desired capacity. AT&T is offering two data plans: a 250MB option for $15 per month and a 2GB plan for $25 per month.

Like with Verizon, AT&T customers do not need to sign a contract to access the carrier's 3G network.

More significant than the fact that Apple is getting the iPad into more retail stores before the holiday-shopping season is the speculation created by Verizon selling the iPad. For years, people have been speculating about when Verizon will break AT&T's exclusive hold as the iPhone carrier. Verizon actually selling the iPad gives consumers some hope that an iPhone running on Verizon's network isn't so far off.

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