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Old 06-22-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Australia
432 posts, read 1,170,544 times
Reputation: 688

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Hi Everyone, I put this in the MN forum as I am moving there and need to know local information. I currently live in Australia and am moving to MN so do not know anything about buying these devices there. (Will also put in Computers)

I am planning on buying an IPad? and a new cell phone right (not sure if Iphone probably -or android smart phone) - open to anything that will suit my purposes.

I use the internet (of course), use photography software and then basic word documents, I do not run a business so no need to use for that purpose. So the link below I may not need all of that stuff, just looking for a good computer device and cell phone and appreciate any suggestions.

Been looking at Bestbuy and they have
Apple® - iPad® with Retina® display - Wi-Fi + Cellular (AT&T) - 32GB - Black

I am not sure I understand what is actually included when it says + Cellular, does that mean I get a separate mobile device or do I do phone communications over the IPad? Of course I would want a handheld cell phone as I would not want to carry an IPad around with me.


As I am not sure exactly where I will be living but expect to be Mpls city or west/southwest of Mpls ie Plymouth, St Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Bloomington areas all depending on where my job will be located.

Is AT&T a good company with fast internet speeds and good cell coverage? Or what other internet companies are better?

Do you get "taken" for more money if you did a package deal as above? Is it better to purchase all devices separately? Pay cash and have the device "unlocked" so I can use any communication company? I am a novice at setting up different devices, I just want to be able to turn on, download and go.

Currently I buy prepaid credit for my cell phone in Australia and have unlimited calls nationally and text messages included in the price. I also get with the plan wireless internet access of 4GB per month that I use my laptop for. I pay $39.90 a month which serves all my purposes with phone and computer and would like to find a similar type of plan.

Would Bestbuy be a good store to get a decent deal or is there another store on west side of Mpls that would be better to go to?

I know I haven't asked all the questions I need to know about and appreciate any replies to help me out. Sale persons have only basic knowledge and just want to sell anything. Only a couple more weeks and I will be there!

Last edited by back2M; 06-22-2013 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:34 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 58,434,125 times
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If you are going to get an IPad it makes sense to get an Iphone. It's just easier because they are compatible. A cell package for what you listed will be in the $60-70 range here. ATT is ok, Verizon seems to be more popular but either is fine. I've been in several situations where I've had service but my friends on ATT did not, mainly during storms. There are parts of the country, however, where the opposite is true. Living in the metro you aren't going to notice the difference. If you travel outside of the metro a lot, research which company has better coverage in those areas.

If you are going to get Apple products new, I would buy them at the Apple store. There is a large one at the Mall of America. I'm assuming you will wait to get those until you move here.

I'll let the Apple users here chime in about communications over the Ipad but I'm guessing the "cellular" service is more for accessing the internet and not making phone calls. I've never seen anyone talking over their Ipad except on Skype/Facetime type apps.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:08 AM
 
Location: Australia
432 posts, read 1,170,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
If you are going to get an IPad it makes sense to get an Iphone. It's just easier because they are compatible. A cell package for what you listed will be in the $60-70 range here. ATT is ok, Verizon seems to be more popular but either is fine. I've been in several situations where I've had service but my friends on ATT did not, mainly during storms. There are parts of the country, however, where the opposite is true. Living in the metro you aren't going to notice the difference. If you travel outside of the metro a lot, research which company has better coverage in those areas.

If you are going to get Apple products new, I would buy them at the Apple store. There is a large one at the Mall of America. I'm assuming you will wait to get those until you move here.

I'll let the Apple users here chime in about communications over the Ipad but I'm guessing the "cellular" service is more for accessing the internet and not making phone calls. I've never seen anyone talking over their Ipad except on Skype/Facetime type apps.
Thanks Golfgal, my niece who is an IT professional at the Duluth University raves on about IPad and Iphone so that is why I was thinking along those lines. I will have to go shopping and see what suit me the best. Right now I have a Dell laptop which I like but it's time for an upgrade. Someone else said Verizon is better too. Do you think Bestbuy is a good store also to look at price wise for computers/phones?
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:09 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 58,434,125 times
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I think you are better off getting a phone at a dedicated cell phone carrier store, but that is me personally. They only deal with their own phones and are more helpful. Again, if you are getting Apple products, get them at the Apple Store. You will have much better service that way. Best Buy is ok but I don't think they are the best choice for cell phones.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
5,147 posts, read 7,024,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I think you are better off getting a phone at a dedicated cell phone carrier store, but that is me personally. They only deal with their own phones and are more helpful. Again, if you are getting Apple products, get them at the Apple Store. You will have much better service that way. Best Buy is ok but I don't think they are the best choice for cell phones.
Got my Samsung Galaxy at Best Buy. Cell phones aren't the kind of thing that permit one to build up savvy about the best source. Best Buy sales people are always trying to add things. They sold Geek Squad service guarantees to me. Cost me about $169. Not sure it is really worth the money. They do have more than one carrier which the carrier stores never have. To me, wireless service is a jungle. Numbers about cost are thrown around, and about the only way to know what the cost mounts up to is from people who've had service for a few months. The cost quotes from business are tricky. I have Sprint but not the unlimited everything. So my bill may not be the advertised price.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:36 AM
 
1,816 posts, read 2,845,769 times
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The "+Cellular" means that the device has a built-in antenna for data over cellular networks (2G/3G/4G LTE) which allows you to access the internet when you're not near a WiFi signal.

I personally find the extra expensive of the +Cellular version of the iPad to be a waste. I'm almost always near WiFi (nearly everywhere has it), the device is more expensive, and there's a monthly fee to use the data (I think around $30/month a la carte, though if you have a shared data plan, it can be as cheap as $10/month).

I have both an iPad and an iPhone and love them both dearly, but I am a bit of an Apple fan. I love the compatibility between them all.

As for cell providers, I have AT&T and have no issues on service. Stick with Verizon or AT&T for the best reliability/coverage. In the metro you shouldn't have any issues with either. And each will have their place where they will work where the other has a weak or non-existent signal. Best to just price out which one makes more sense for you financially.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:26 PM
 
1,258 posts, read 2,261,450 times
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Apple products will (USUALLY) cost the same at most places so you should look to buy at the Apple store directly. You can find a much better price for a laptop online from a reputable US company such as Amazon, Newegg, Dell, Tigerdirect, B&H Photo, Lenovo, etc.

Best Buy is a good store but it is usually more expensive than online competitors. Most people just go into Best Buy to look at stuff and then they go and buy it online if they like it. Be aware that most online retailers do not charge sales tax, so if you buy a $100 product online, it will cost you $100 but if you buy a $100 product in a store in MN you will have to pay sales tax, which ranges between 6.5% and 7.775% depending where you are in the Twin Cities.

If you plan on buying an iphone and ipad together you can try going to the various wireless carriers and seeing if they will do a bundle deal. The big carriers are Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and TMobile. Verizon has the best reception and generally costs the most while Sprint and Tmobile cost less but don't have as fast of networks for data. Be sure to check if you get a monthly discount on cell phone service through your employer. You will have to sign a 2-year contract to get a subsidized phone with ATT, Verizon, or Sprint. With TMobile you will not have to sign a contract but you will not be able to buy a subsidized phone with them. Most providers have a $36 activation fee for opening a new account, and most monthly bills have a variety of fees assessed, so a $60/month plan can easily cost $65-$70 per month after fees (franchise fee, E-911 fee, FCC fee, etc.)

All of the cell providers do offer prepaid plans as well so you could buy an unlocked iphone online and bring it to the carrier and buy a prepaid plan, but be aware that we have two mobile networks here - GSM and CDMA. ATT and TMobile operate on GSM network while Verizon and Sprint operate on CDMA network, so if you buy the phone from a vendor be sure to check which network and provider it works on and whether it will work with U.S. 4G networks.

Last edited by pete6032; 06-24-2013 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
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One thing that puzzles me about tablets. I went to Best Buy in search of one thing. Along the way I cruised the tablet section. And it seems tablets are all hooked up with mobile carrier data services. Funny me, I somehow thought a tablet was a COMPUTER, with data service a nicety, but no more necessary than for any computer.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:21 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 58,434,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beenhere4ever View Post
One thing that puzzles me about tablets. I went to Best Buy in search of one thing. Along the way I cruised the tablet section. And it seems tablets are all hooked up with mobile carrier data services. Funny me, I somehow thought a tablet was a COMPUTER, with data service a nicety, but no more necessary than for any computer.
How would you get on to the internet without a data plan if you wanted to take the tablet places...which is kind of why people get them??
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Location: MN
1,669 posts, read 5,965,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I think you are better off getting a phone at a dedicated cell phone carrier store, but that is me personally. They only deal with their own phones and are more helpful. Best Buy is ok but I don't think they are the best choice for cell phones.
I am usually not a fan of Best Buy, but Best Buy Mobile had all of the same phones and the best prices when I upgraded a few months back. The carrier specific store couldn't match them on the phone price.

They are trying hard to expand in the mobile market especially with their Best Buy Mobile stores.
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