Apple’s new 5G iPad Pro models get rare subsidy from U.S. carriers

Apple’s major wireless carrier partners in the U.S. – T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon – are offsetting the cost of the iPad Pro’s 5G upgrade, in a rare move to encourage consumers to add cellular service to the new professional iPads, as opposed to getting a Wi-Fi-only model.

The M1 chip and 5G speeds enable the new iPad Pro to push the limits of what’s possible on iPad.
The M1 chip and 5G speeds enable the new iPad Pro to push the limits of what’s possible on iPad.

The addition of the Apple-designed M1 chip delivers a massive leap in performance, making iPad Pro the fastest device of its kind. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro features a new Liquid Retina XDR display that brings extreme dynamic range to iPad Pro, offering a stunning visual experience with more true-to-life details to the most demanding HDR workflows. Cellular models with 5G deliver even faster wireless connectivity when on the go, and to provide users with pro-level throughput for high-speed accessories, iPad Pro now includes support for Thunderbolt. Additionally, an all-new Ultra Wide front camera enables Center Stage, a new feature that automatically keeps users perfectly framed for even more engaging video calls.

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is selling the new iPad Pro models in both Wi-Fi-only and 5G configurations, and the 5G upgrade costs an additional $200.

Carriers are offering up to $200 back in gift cards to offset the cost, essentially making the upgrade free in some cases, aside from the usual monthly wireless service charges.

On its website, Apple says Verizon Communications Inc., T-Mobile USA Inc. and its Sprint unit will offer $200 reimbursements, while AT&T Inc. will offer $150 back. The carriers previously offered similar deals to spur iPhone 12 upgrades, but the strategy is more unusual for iPads.

MacDailyNews Take: Such subsidies will doubtlessly help to spur sales of the new iPad Pro models. In addition carriers such as Verizon are running “Get up to $100 off when you trade in” promotions on 4G iPad Air, iPad, and iPad mini, which will also help to move iPad units.

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