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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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?
- 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…