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iPad, Meet Verizon

Posted by Kyle Flanigan on October 28th, 2010

Two weeks ago, Apple announced officially that AT&T rival network carrier Verizon would carry the iPad in "over 2,000 Verizon Wireless Stores nationwide" from October 28. That day is finally here.

“This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels,” said John Stratton, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. “iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.” But Stratton makes the process sound more integrated than it actually is - in a bizarre twist to the announcement, Verizon won't be carrying 3G models of Apple's rival tablet device. Instead, customers have the option of picking up a Verizon MiFI 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot - a device launched in May 2009 that converts Verizon's cellular 3G signal into a Wi-Fi connection which your iPad can connect to, just like any other wireless network.

1GB of data through MiFi will cost $20 per month, with additional service options of 3GB ($35/month) and 5GB ($50/month) available to all users, according to Newsi.es. This contrasts with AT&T's available options of 250MB of data for $14.99/month or 2GB for $25/month, which beforehand were the only legal options iPad owners could choose from. The prices of devices in Verizon stores are as follows:

  • $629.99 for 16GB iPad (Wi-Fi) + MiFi
  • $729.99 for 32GB iPad (Wi-Fi) + MiFi
  • $829.99 for 64GB iPad (Wi-Fi) + MiFi

Note that these prices are $1 extra than Apple's WiFi + 3G models, but include the MiFi device which would otherwise cost $269 standalone. Verizon will sell all three devices without MiFi, presumably for the same cost as the iPad in your local Apple store. For now, it looks like if you walk into the Apple store seeking an iPad with data, AT&T is the only way forward; but if you take a trip to your local Verizon Wireless store, things will be a little different. Apple noted in their official press release two weeks ago that "customers can sign up for more information on Apple’s iPad together with Verizon Wireless’ MiFi 2200 at www.verizonwireless.com/iPad" - no mention of Apple in-store service.

Verizon stores are apparently opening early to deal with potential high demand, so be sure to get down bright and early if you're after the AT&T alternative. 

AT&T Prepping for Loss of iPhone Exclusivity

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on October 26th, 2010

It seems the end may indeed be nigh for AT&T's status as the exclusive provider of the iPhone. Bloomberg reports that the wireless retailer has begun increasing shipments of other smartphones and has begun to retrain staff to emphasize sales of other devices over the iPhone. So far the plan seems to be working, as AT&T has managed to sway roughly half the customers interested in an iPhone over to other devices.

“AT&T clearly has tried to diversify themselves away from the iPhone, and that’s probably the right strategy since they’ve relied so heavily on the iPhone these past few years,” said Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Chris King. “This handset strategy could shelter them from some customer losses.”

Current rumors suggest that Verizon will begin selling the iPhone in January, making this the last holiday season in which AT&T can rely on Apple's smartphone to bolster sales. Still, it looks like under the current strategy AT&T is already trying to diversify customer interested and lead consumers toward Blackberry, Windows or other phones.

For their part, AT&T is denying that they're planning for life after the iPhone, but rather are trying to provide consumers with the most comprehensive information and best available selection for their smartphone needs.

“We made a conscious decision to give our customers a choice and let them decide what is best for them,” said AT&T devices senior vice president Jeff Bradley. “We’re probably there now, at a critical mass."

Complimenting this new strategy is a new training program for employees which will teach them the finer points of each smartphone the carrier stocks, rather than only the virtues of the iPhone. Stores are also being rearranged to de-emphasize Apple's phone and shine a spotlight on other models. After years of trying to steer every smartphone customer to one specific device, this is a major change as the retailer looks to encourage sales of multiple brands.

Though the strategy is a sound one it's strange to see AT&T seemingly concede defeat to Verizon before the competitor even begins to offer the iPhone. While Verizon may indeed offer better pricing or service, it's not like no one will ever come to AT&T wanting to buy an iPhone again, so why try and steer them away? It will be interesting to see what Verizon has to offer when they begin carrying the product, because if they can truly offer a better experience then they may become the de facto exclusive carrier. We can only wait and see how it all pans out.

[via Bloomberg]

Verizon-Compatible iPhone Rumored to be In Final Testing Phase

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on October 19th, 2010

We all believe that the iPhone yearns to be free to be sold by multiple carriers, and it would seem that this once-mythical day is nearly upon us. According to reports, iPhone model 3,2 (the CDMA-compatible model) is in the "AP" field testing phase. That basically means the hardware is all done, the software is practically done, and if these final tests go well then the phone will be ready for retail release. For those keeping score at home, a CDMA-compatible phone means that carriers such as Verizon would be able to carry the device and offer the same (or better) service as AT&T.

If you want to be a pessimist then there's also the distinct possibility that this new model of iPhone isn't the "Verizon version" at all, but rather a minor hardware redesign that will simply solve some of the antenna problems plaguing current phones. Because of our boundless hope that someday the iPhone will be untethered from AT&T we don't want to believe this is the true reason for the new hardware, but it's very likely that Occam's Razor will come back to bite us if we claim otherwise. For now, we'll just treat the whole thing with tempered enthusiasm.

Traditional iPhone users will also be pleased to hear that the iPhone 5 is apparently in EVT (engineering verification testing) right now. While we don't have an approximate ETA for this next major hardware refresh, don't go thinking you've got the top-of-the-line phone just because you have an iPhone 4. Apple definitely plans to make you upgrade yet again, it's just a matter of time.

[via BGR]

iPad Supply Forecast Improves

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on October 19th, 2010

Thanks to an improvement in the availability of components, iSuppli has announced that it is raising the shipment forecast for iPads to 13.8 million units in 2010, up from its July outlook of 12.9 million. Furthermore, the company expects iPad production to hit 2.5 million units a month by the end of the year. The announcement is great news for Apple, which has struggled to keep up with consumer demand for its innovative tablet.

“In its previous iPad forecasts, iSuppli noted that the only constraint on shipment growth now is production—and not demand,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli. “The only factor limiting production is the availability of key iPad components, such as the Field Fringe Switching (FFS) LCD panels, projected capacitive touch screens and NAND flash. Despite ongoing yield issues, Apple's suppliers have steadily increased monthly production to meet Apple's demand. Production rates are now on target to meet the expected strong fourth-quarter sales.”

Manufacturing should be boosted once more in 2011, when Apple plans to include new suppliers in the iPad's production chain. The increased availability of the device will allow Apple to pursue as-yet-untapped markets such as schools and businesses who may be interested in buying the devices in bulk, but can't yet due to the fact Apple doesn't offer bulk purchase incentives. With the announcement that AT&T will begin selling iPads direct to businesses it was clear that Apple needed to work fast in order to make sure supply could keep up with demand.

This is also good news for those looking to buy a loved one an iPad as a holiday gift, since now perhaps they'll be a bit less scarce. Coupling the increased production with the expansion of retailers approved to sell iPads means that perhaps you'll spend a bit less time tromping through stores and less gas driving from one retailer to the next. Won't that be nice?

[via iSuppli]

AT&T to Sell iPads Direct to Businesses

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on October 18th, 2010

In a move which could quickly swell the ranks of iPad users, AT&T has announced that it will begin selling iPads directly to business consumers on October 28. If that date sounds familiar, it's because it's the same day both AT&T and Verizon will begin selling iPads directly to average Joes.

"iPad is a great fit for our enterprise customers across a wide range of industries who are looking for ways to increase business productivity and offer greater flexibility," said Michael Antieri, President, Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions. "This new offer further strengthens AT&T's commitment to provide businesses with the tools they need to accelerate mobility-led productivity."

The new plan will allow businesses to buy the devices as well as mobile broadband price plans at AT&T's business rate, which works out to be much cheaper on a per-person basis than standard plans. This move should drastically help Apple land yet another of its products in the business world. Much in the same way iPhones now permeate high-level executive circles, iPads are poised to do the same for salespeople and other office personnel constantly on the move.

Though Verizon is going to begin offering iPads in stores on the same date there is no word of a similar business sales plan from the retailer. Thus it would seem that Apple's favored distributor is enjoying privileged status once more, standing as the only place for corporate consumers to snap up iPads and service plans at a special rate. AT&T's specific rates for corporate iPad service plans have not been stated, so it remains to be seen just how deep the discount will be.

[via PR Newswire]

AT&T and Verizon to Begin Offering iPads

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on October 14th, 2010

Just in case the temptation to buy an iPad isn't already great enough, Apple will begin offering its tablet at both wireless retailers on October 28th. AT&T will sell the device at normal prices with 3G support, so when you go pick up that new iPhone 4 why not grab an iPad while at the store?

“We can’t wait to showcase the amazing features of iPad Wi-Fi + 3G in our stores across the country just in time for the holidays,” said Glenn Lurie, AT&T President of Emerging Devices, Resale and Partnerships, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “With our breakthrough iPad data plans starting at just $14.99 and access to AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots around the country at no extra cost, our customers will have the best of both worlds.”

“We look forward to expanding the reach of iPad, allowing even more customers to experience the magic of iPad for themselves,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s COO. “As we approach the holiday season, we are very happy that customers will now be able to buy iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at AT&T Stores.”

Perhaps the more surprising story is the fact that the iPad will also be offered at Verizon, though under slightly different pricing and wireless capabilities. Verizon will only be selling the Wi-fi enabled iPads, but will also be bundling the machines with their Mi-fi service. The end result is that prices for Verizon iPads will run $630, $730 and $830.

“This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels,” said John Stratton, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. “iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are."

“We’re thrilled to be working with Verizon Wireless to get iPad into the hands of even more customers this holiday season,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s COO. “iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before, and together with Verizon Wireless we’re offering an easy way to stay connected wherever you go.”

The fact that Verizon is selling Apple's hot new tablet fuels the fire of the rumors that the wireless retailer may also soon start selling the iPhone, Apple's flagship product. Rumors began swirling in 2009 that Verizon would carry the iPhone this year, but the latest reports have pushed back such a deal to 2011. Could Apple be testing the waters with the iPad to see if Verizon is worthy of the iPhone? We'll just have to wait and see.

[ via TiPb ]

U-Verse: TV on your iPhone

Posted by Chris Hall on August 9th, 2010
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

AT&T U-verse customers, you lucky dogs, are now able to watch on-demand video from the newly updated U-verse mobile app.

On top of being able to "browse the U-verse TV program guide, view program descriptions, and schedule and manage your DVR recordings," you can now download full TV shows from the U-verse network over any available Wi-Fi network.

"We're making it possible for you to watch TV shows on your iPhone at no extra charge. It's just one more valuable and innovative feature available on U-verse TV," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Our U-verse multi-screen promise is now a reality for millions of U-verse TV customers, with content available on U-verse TV, U-verse Online, and today, U-verse Mobile. No cable provider comes close to matching the cross-platform experience we're delivering today, and we'll continue to add unique features that further integrate these screens."

In an effort to get existing iPhone users to sign up for yet another AT&T contract, they are offering a $75 gift card for new users that order AT&T U-verse U300 or U450. In case you are weary of selling your digital souls to AT&T, they were the "Highest in Residential Television Service Satisfaction in the South and West Regions Two Years in a Row," according to the J.D. Power and Associates for 2008 and 2009.

For those of you who have already made the leap, be sure to pick up U-verse Mobile from the App Store ASAP, it's totally free.

[Source: PR Newswire]

An iPhone Owner's Travel Lessons Learned From Comic-Con

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 2nd, 2010

As iPhone owners may know, it's far from a perfect device, and its US carrier is far from perfect either. Heading out to one of the biggest celebrations of geek culture, the infamous San Diego Comic-Con, for the first time, I realized how much these issues will come to light when you're out and about with thousands of your closest fellow geeks, nerds, otaku, et cetera. I came back with 4 important things to remember the next time I or any other iPhone owner heads out to a big trip with their iPhone in tow.

1. Phones will die. Prepare accordingly.

The iPhone is not a paragon of extensive battery life. Thankfully, the various extended life battery packs that are available can be a lifesaver for the iPhone owner. If you're heading out to Comic-Con, picking up a couple is a very good idea, as otherwise your phone will die. Some columnists would make it a point to say "you're hanging out with real people, enjoy their presence," but we all know sometimes you need to check your tweets, or text someone to figure out what's going on. Having an actual working phone is better than not having one, and a backup battery will go a long way towards preventing that from happening.

Now, you'll want to make sure that your backup battery actually works. I had 2 batteries to help charge my iPhone, a 1900 mAh battery, and an 800 mAh battery that was small enough to carry around as a key fob. I hadn't charged my larger capacity backup battery in months, and a few days before I left, I decided to charge it up, only to discover that I hadn't used it in so long that it wouldn't hold a charge. Well, no matter, I still had my 800 mAh backup battery, which charges via mini USB, and I had a mini USB wall charger that I brought along with my camera. But the fool in me failed to make sure said wall charger would work with my backup battery. I sure regretted this when I discovered it wouldn't charge, and I had no mini USB cable with me as well, somehow. I was at the mercy of my 2 year old iPhone 3G's stock battery. It suffered at times, to say the least.

Of course, even if you can keep your phone alive, other people's phones won't be so lucky. Set up times and places to meet so that if you do lose contact with them, you won't be lost and wandering a strange city looking for people out amongst thousands and thousands of geeks.

Yankee Group Finds That 73% of iPhone Users Love AT&T

Posted by Chris Hall on July 24th, 2010

In a surprising finding, given the insane amount of media negativity towards AT&T, the Yankee Group reports that 73% of iPhone users are "very satisfied with AT&T's service", a higher number than any smartphone group feels about their various wireless carriers.

Despite the fact that the tethering feature was MIA for a good year despite being offered on other worldwide carriers, people suffered (and still are suffering) through periods where it was easier to drop a call then make one, and the fact that "iPhone owners pay AT&T nearly $12 a month more for service than the average smartphone user", people still seem to love their service.

According to Carl Howe of the Yankee Group, "Consumers transfer the high gloss of their Apple iPhone experience to AT&T. The iPhone creates a halo effect that rubs off."

AT&T obviously doesn't believe in "reality distortion fields", and instead says that "There's a gap between what people hear about us and what their experience is with us. We think that gap is beginning to close. It doesn't mean we're perfect; we still have work to do. But that's no surprise to us, because we have a great network."

Whatever the reason is, it'll be interesting to see how many people abandon AT&T when/if the iPhone moves to multiple networks. "Drake Johnstone, an analyst with Davenport & Co., forecasted that poor experiences with AT&T would drive as many as 40% of iPhone customers to Verizon once that network gets the iPhone." After this finding, I'm not so sure.

[Source: CNN Money]

AT&T Already Modifying iPad Data Plans

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 2nd, 2010

In a very odd move, less than a month after the launch of the iPad 3G, AT&T are changing the iPad data plans and getting rid of the unlimited data plan. As mentioned in a previous article, AT&T are modifying their data plans and going forward will only support a 200MB for $15/mo and 2GB for $25/mo plans.

Since iPad users are not under contract, AT&T has the right to change the plans as often as they like. But if you are currently subscribed to one of the old plans, you can keep using that plan. Going forward though, instead of the 250MB and unlimited data plans, customers will have the option to purchase 2GB of data for $25/month. And instead of $15 for 250MB, iPad users will only get 200MB for $15/month.

I'm found it hard use up the 250MB plan in the first month of use. I only used around 150MB on my iPad 3G, so I don't think I'll switch to the unlimited plan. But I'm happy to keep getting and extra 50 MB for my $15 per month.

Tethering Confirmed for iPhone OS 4 on AT&T

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 2nd, 2010

AT&T today released a press release announcing two new data plans going into effect June 7th. In that information it was also mentioned that tethering would be an option for those plans on the iPhone with OS 4.

This confirms that AT&T iPhone users will finally be getting tethering, nearly a year after the rest of the world got it. The cost will be an additional $20/month -- and there's a catch.

The two new data plans announced are DataPlus and DataPro. The DataPlus plan will give you 200 MB of data for $15/month. For the majority of users, this should be your new plan of choice. AT&T notes that 65% of their data plan users don't go over 200 MB/month. If you go over the 200MB, you'll automatically be billed another $15 for 200MB extra.

The DataPro plan gives you a cap of 2GB of data for $25 / month. While it's cheaper than the unlimited plan by $5/month, there is a cap. AT&T notes that if you go over that 2GB, you will automatically be billed $10 for an additional 1GB of data for your current month. On their new dataplans info page they mention that 98% of their data plan customers don't go over 2GB per month.

Tethering will only be an option for customers that switch to the new DataPro plan. If you are a current AT&T customer and have the unlimited plan for $30/month, you can keep it. But you can not add tethering to that plan. New customers will not be able to choose the unlimited data plan.

While I really like the new data plans, I like that all iPhone users will no longer be forced to pay $30/month for data, I don't like the extra charges for tethering.

I think charging extra for tethering in this new format is a very anti-consumer move. By re-formatting the data plans, AT&T now makes it explicit that you are paying for a set amount of data. Data is therefore a commodity. How you use the amount of data you purchase should no longer matter. In an unlimited plan it's understandable that a provider would want to charge more since you are now connecting multiple devices to the data plan and theoretically using much more data. But if you are buying a set amount of data, you should be able to use it on as many devices and in any way you wish.

As usual, AT&T has taken a small step forward and a huge step back. They are sticking with the bull headed mentality of a 100 year old utility company. But, for US customers it's still our only option.

Now, let's discuss the coincidence of the data plans going into effect on the day the next iPhone is expected to be announced....

[photo credit: Flickr user Eddie-S]

Will Sprint Be Getting The iPhone This Summer?

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 24th, 2010

Mac Rumors has received unofficial word that Sprint may become a carrier of the iPhone as early as this summer. The site points to skeptical claims made by a Sprint employee who has been reliable in the past and to a TechUpdate post covering information from a BestBuy employee who has similar information.

We reported recently that AT&T's iPhone exclusivity may be under threat from other carriers and that it narrowly avoided losing sole rights to iPhone tariffs by offering a very competitive data plan for the 3G iPad. Verizon is the most hotly tipped network to take on the iPhone but, should AT&T's exclusivity come to an end, Apple may well consider multiple iPhone carriers as it has done in Europe. As Mac Rumors points out, multiple contracts would also see a boost in iPhone uptake as has been seen with Android-based handsets. TechUpdate's unnamed BestBuy employee feels that AT&T's exclusivity has already been lost with the blow softened by exclusive iPad tariffs in the meantime.

Steve Jobs is set to host a Keynote at the start of Apple's World Wide Developer Conference on June 7 so perhaps we will find out more then.

[ via Mac Rumors ]

Is AT&T Tethering Finally Coming In iPhone OS 4.0?

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 19th, 2010

A forum post over at Mac Rumors has shed a little light on the hugely delayed availability of internet tethering for the iPhone on AT&T. Announced at the iPhone OS 3.0 event (yes, that long ago!) AT&T is yet to introduce the feature that allows users to share their iPhone’s 3G connection with a computer via Bluetooth or USB.

The forum post shows two images found within the iPhone 4.0 Beta that is being seeded to developers and shows a Setup Internet Tethering option as well as a popup screen explaining that in order to enable tethering the user must contact AT&T. AT&T remains the sole carrier of the iPhone in the US and has been dogged by issues with its network including dropped calls and poor 3G coverage. Many believe that its delay in rolling out tethering to the iPhone is due to worries that it may put too much strain on the network.

Will the launch iPhone OS 4.0 be the moment those desperate for tethering have been waiting for? We guess all will be revealed at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference this June.

[ via Mac Rumors ]

AT&T Actually Rolling Upgrade Eligibility Dates Back

Posted by Jeff Scott on May 11th, 2010

In an effort to keep iPhone users happy and avoid the outcry we heard last year, AT&T has apparently started rolling back upgrade eligibility dates prior to the launch of the next iPhone. MobileCrunch has posted the following image showing an updated eligibility date moved from November to June of this year for a customer who purchased the iPhone 3GS at launch last year.

Last year lots of people were angry that they could not take advantage of upgrade pricing for the new iPhone. But it looks like AT&T is trying to avoid that fury this year and allow many more people to upgrade. Though at this point we don't know if it's universal as there has been no statement by Apple or AT&T.

MobileCrunch is reporting that AT&T has started to roll back upgrade eligibility dates from 18 months to what appears to be 12 months. This would allow customers who are eligible to take advantage of much cheaper upgrade prices for the hardware when the next iPhone is released.

We do not know at this time if that roll back will be for everyone or if that date is only for certain customers and not all at this time. While there are multiple reports of this from AT&T customers, it could be they are only rolling back the dates for customers over a certain service level.

Why would AT&T do this? They must have a reason. Perhaps they are doing it because the iPhone will be available on other carriers soon and AT&T wants to get as many customers as possible under a new two year contract. Or perhaps with the new front facing camera, AT&T will be increasing the monthly unlimited data plan fees, and they want as many new customers as possible on the new plan. Or perhaps AT&T just loves us all and wants to apologize for bad service. Ha!

But it seems as though lots of people are trying to see if they are eligible -- I can't even log into AT&Ts site at this point. Have you checked, has your eligibility date been rolled back? If so, let us know and let us know what plan you subscribe to (number of minutes/month) and how long you've been a subscriber. Let's see if this is universal or not.

[via MobileCrunch :: image credit: MobileCrunch]

iPad 3G Review: Three Days in Paris With the iPad

Posted by Jeff Scott on May 11th, 2010
iPad App - Designed for iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: :: Read Review »

Here's the plan - I have a quick business trip planned to Paris for just 3 days and 2 nights - can I get by, me, a HEAVY computer user, for that time with just an iPad? What equipment do I need to do so? What things won't I be able to do? Sounds like a pretty good test of the functionality of the device and a great way to review the 3G iPad for travel use on a business trip.


Let's set up the testing process. The equipment I have with is the iPad 3G, an external battery to make sure I'm covered for the long flights, the Apple Bluetooth keyboard, a case and a bag. For back up, I have my Macbook, and my iPhone. Thats a lot of Apple devices in one bag. I hope I don't have problems with security.

iPad 3G
The iPad 3G gives me the most flexibility for all legs of the trip. The WiFi will give me the fastest connection in most locations. If needed, I can use the 3G when there's no WiFi available. I opted to purchase the international data package ahead of time from AT&T for this trip.

External Battery
I chose the HyperMac Mini battery to accompany me for this trip. It's a pretty high power battery 7200mAh but not too physically large. Its slightly larger than an iPhone and about the same shape. It has unfortunately not been updated for the iPad yet, but it does still charge the iPad, even though the iPad warns that its not charging. The battery can keep the device battery even when in use, or can recharge it if the screen is turned off.

Apple Bluetooth Keyboard
This keyboard has some obvious advantages over the on-screen keyboard. For one, it's a complete standard layout. The other reason is that things like arrow keys work, copy and paste, option option-arrow, etc. Many of those quick keyboard commands that are standard on OSX work. Those shortcuts alone increase typing efficiency greatly over the on-screen keyboard.

Case and Bag
I chose the Apple iPad case - because it's not too bulky and provides dust and scratch protection and covers the front screen. There are lots of things I don't like about the case, but at least its not bulky.

I also have a nice small Timbuk 2 bag/man purse that just fits the iPad so I don't have to carry it around in my hand like some Euro-tech-hipster. And since I don't have those jeans with the giant iPad pocket in the back, I needed something.

International Data Plan from AT&T
If you want to use the 3G data while overseas, you need to purchase the AT&T International Data Plan ahead of time. It will then go live on the date you set with the earliest possible date being midnight Eastern Standard Time in the US the next day.

You purchase the plan pretty much the same way you purchase the regular data plan, through the Cellular Data item in the Settings App. Click on View Account, sign in, then select Add International Plan. The differences are that you have to decide how much data you want to buy, and the International plan, unlike the regular data plan, doesn't automatically renew. AT&T offers the following International data plans:

20 MB for $24.99 ($1.25/MB)
50 MB for $59.99 ($1.20/MB)
100 MB for $119.99 ($1.20/MB)
200 MB for $199.99 ($1.00/MB)

All of the data plans are valid for 30 days and there are dozens of countries where you can use it (see the list on the ordering page).

I purchased the 50 MB International Data Plan and had it set to go live just a couple of hours before I landed in Paris. We'll see how far that takes me.

For this business trip, I need to stay in touch. So I'll need to be able to read and send emails, surf the web, write and post blog posts, and the occasional IM conversation. All of these can easily be done on the iPad. I'll do my very best to resist using the Macbook and iPhone. I plan to rely solely on the iPad, as long as it doesn't stop me from doing the simple things I need to be able to do. But I'm not sure I it can do it. Let's see.