What Can You Do With iPad 3G’s 250MB Data Plan?

Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G is coming to US stores on April 30. If you have space for a new device and thinking of buying Apple iPad 3G (or iPad Wi-Fi), you may need to know little bit more details about iPad 3G and the data plans available.  They may help you decide whether you really need iPad 3G.

Cost of Apple iPad with Wi-Fi+3G

ipad3g1 300x92 What Can You Do With iPad 3Gs 250MB Data Plan?An iPad 3G model costs $130 more than a similar iPad with just Wi-Fi.  Apple has partnered with AT & T to provide two data plans;

  • 250 MB data for $14.99 per month
  • Unlimited data for $29.00 per month

These plans are probably the cheapest available for a similar device.  The highlight of the plans is no contract required for the 3G service. Apple says,

You can cancel your plan at any time and then sign up again whenever you need 3G service.

Apple iPad 3G’s 250MB Data Plan in Numbers

If you are thinking of getting a 250MB data plan, it is better to know what you can do with it.  These days even a simple website has rich media content. With increase in dependency on the internet/cloud, we don’t really have a clue on to how much data we consume.

An average iPhone users with unlimited data plan uses little more than 250MB. One can easily consume more data with the iPad.

What Can You Do With a 250MB Data Plan?

Let us look at how much data is typically needed for the basic things we do. For example, reading emails, browsing the web, downloading songs, and watching videos. Here is the breakdown of data usage/requirement.

  • Size of an email: ~10KB
  • Size of a typical webpage: ~150KB
  • Size of a single page in word/pdf: ~35KB to 100KB
  • Size of a photo from facebook/picassa: ~60KB
  • Size of a presentation with 10 slides: ~1MB
  • Size of a decent photo from a 6MP Digital Camera: ~1.5MB
  • Size of a ten minute Skype call: ~5MB
  • Size of an average eBook: ~2MB
  • Size of a 5 minute MP3 song: ~5MB
  • Size of a 3 minute You Tube Video: ~2-5MB
  • Size of a 30 minute show on Hulu: ~250MB(?)

Clearly one can not watch movies/videos with the plan.  Knowing what activities you do and for how much time you spend on them, one can easily guesstimate their data usage. You could save data by using the iPad in Wi-Fi mode or at AT&T hot spots (If you have bought the data plan).  These number will definitely give a handle on deciding the data plan for iPad 3G.

A common question that comes to one’s mind is that is the 250MB data plan has roll over feature? As of now, it looks like you can not use the left over data in the next month. The data plan comes with an expiry date.


  1. Bruce B says

    What about maps? If using a Garmin-type map program with assisted GPS, how much data gets used? thanks

  2. says

    I think they should have at least said 1 gb for the lower plan. 250MB is just a kick in the nuts. Has AT&T seen the internet lately?

  3. says

    Well, I used 85 MB on my first day (yes, one day) using the maps with the iPad 3G. Incidentally, for those who like their GPS maps oriented with North up, this iPad 3G blows away all other GPS devices on the planet. The huge screen, the silky-smooth intuitive touch interface, and the live lookups via Google all work just as they should. Really beautiful UI design. I love this thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *