Today is the release day of the Wi-fi version of the Apple iPad. Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I love my Apple technology. I have a MacBook, an iPod Touch as well as a 160 GB iPod Touch that I use for driving and working out. As I self-proclaimed Apple lover, here are some financial thoughts on why I am strongly considering an iPad.

How the iPad could save money

  1. Save money on Textbooks. If you are in college, or have just recently graduated, you understand the expense of textbooks. If it wasn’t for places like Chegg and the Amazon marketplace, I’d be absolutely broke. My accounting book was over $160 new. With the iPad, you will be able to purchase textbooks from your iPad (for what I assume) for cheaper than what they are available in hard copy. (Source: AllThingsDigital) It the textbooks on the iPad are priced similarily to the ones on the Kindle (My accounting textbook sells for $99 on the Kindle), you could save enough to have the iPad pay for itself in a few quarters.
  2. Save money on books, magazines and newspapers. Much like the textbook issue, books, magazines and newspapers are quite expensive. If you look at the top selling books on Amazon, the cheapest list price is $21.95. While rumors state that the books will run between $10-12 dollars on the iPad (still a few dollars more expensive than the Kindle). The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today all released apps for the iPad that are currently free.
  3. Free Netflix. According to both Wired and Gizmodo, the iPad will allow you to stream TV shows and movies for free (given you have a Netflix account). With the TV connections that you can do with your iPad, you could cut Cable out of your house and save hundreds of dollars a year.

How the iPad could end up costing you big

  1. Up front costs. With the models ranging from $499 to $829 (depending on hard drive size and wi-fi/3G), the initial cost is a large deterrent. $499 can go to many other things in life. Is it the best way to spend $499?
  2. Monthly data plan. While you do not have to sign a contract to use the 3G service (from AT&T), it will cost you $14.99 for 250 MB/month or $29.99 for unlimited usage. Again, that is $15 or $30 additional to any cell phone bill that you may already have.

What do you think?

Is the iPad worth all of the hype?

Are you going to buy one?

Do you believe that it will save you money in the long run?

My final thoughts:

While I am interested in the iPad, I will be waiting a few months before I would consider purchasing one. With my cell phone contract (and free GPS from Google Maps), I don’t see the need to get a 3G version. The fact that you can buy textbooks via the iPad does interest me a lot, as that is one of the biggest expenditures for me throughout college. I’m hoping that I can win one via the Money Crashers iPad Giveaway so that way I can try it out without having to worry about the cost.

Update: Please read a confession


About Zach Younkin

I'm currently enrolled at Western Governors University, pursuing my degree in Accounting. I'm hoping that this blog provides you with some encouragement to be what God has promised you. This blog collects dust, which is unfortunate. Keep your eyes open for some sporadic blog posts. I spend more time on Twitter, so go follow me there. @zachyounkin
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17 Responses to iPad

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention iPad | College for 10k -- Topsy.com

  2. bibledebt says:

    Thanks for the summary of how you see the iPad taking shape. I am trying to hold off so it doesn't cost me big. However, I do see the advantage of having the wireless version simply for convenience and portability. Ultimately, I will probably hold off like I always do and purchase one 6 months to a year after they are released for less than full price. Although they may be so popular ultimately that I will have to wait longer in order for the price to come down, even on the used models.
    My recent post Lower Your Bills: Free Wireless Phone Service

  3. Ryan says:

    I think the iPad is the first step to a changed internet and method of interacting with the world around us, however, apple, I think has really dropped the ball in that it requires a parent computer to sync to. Thus all the features of the iPad are merely convenience benefits. All those textbooks, if available on the iPad can also be acquired in PDF form and thus used on a normal laptop which you require before buying an iPad anyway. Thus, the iPad does not represent any monetary savings. It is 100% a luxury item.

    If it was iPad OR laptop I can definitely see it being an amazing option for students but as of now given that the iPad can only be used along with another computer that can already do everything the iPad does it becomes a convenient redundancy.
    My recent post Today I~rsquo~m Proud: Single on iTunes!

  4. Austin says:

    I think the 2nd generation will be unreal. I love where they're headed with this, but I'm going to see how it progresses over the next 1-3 years.

    Austin @ Foreigner's Finannces
    My recent post Interview with a Location Independent Family Man in China

  5. Pingback: Lesser Known Link Rally | My Financial Objectives

  6. Jackie says:

    I bought one on Saturday, and am getting used to it. I pretty much just got it so that I could test my app on it, but I can see where it would be nice to use as a laptop while traveling too.
    My recent post Is an iPad Worth the Money?

  7. Pingback: Confessions | College for 10k

  8. For whatever reason, I've got no desire for one. That'll save me some coin!
    My recent post What You Need to Know About Roth IRA Conversions

  9. Dr.Dean says:

    Great post. I definitely agree waiting is the best option. The textbook angle is an interesting twist, but wouldn't used textbooks be even cheaper???
    My recent post Apple’s I-Pad: Buying One is Stupid!

  10. Pingback: Buying an I-Pad-Ten Reasons It Would Be Stupid | The Millionaire Nurse Blog

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  12. Pingback: iPad – Yakezie Edition | College for 10k

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  14. Wizard Prang says:

    Never buy V1.0 of anything…. particularly from Apple, who is famous for refreshing their product line on a yearly basis.

    If you _need_ an iPad, buy all means get one, but if it is a solution to a problem you don’t yet have, wait.

  15. Joe Plemon says:

    I am one of those who waits when anything new comes along, so I will wait a while on the iPad…not simply for the technology to smooth out any possible glitches, but also for prices to go down and (most importantly) for me to decide if I want it at all.
    My recent post Five Upcoming Tax Hikes and What They Mean to You

  16. Jason @ M$M says:

    I think it would be cool, but the $800 price tag seems steep. That, and it really annoys me that AT&T is charging ANOTHER $30/month for data. Shouldn't they only charge $35/month per account, rather than per phone? Ugh..
    My recent post The Yakezie Challenge Carnival #8 – Tax Day Edition!

  17. waine says:

    very interesting post
    My recent post Eat Lead

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