Unlike the original iPad, Apple is offering AT&T and Verizon versions of the iPad 2 WiFi + 3G out of the door. Unfortunately, carrier choice doesn’t offer quite the flexibility we were hoping for: according to Apple, “the iPad model you purchase is specially configured to work with either AT&T or Verizon — not both.”
“While you don’t have to activate 3G service right away, you should choose your iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G according to the carrier you prefer” Apple warns. We’d hoped that the iPad 2 would have a hybrid GSM/CDMA modem which could be used on both AT&T’s 3G/UMTS and Verizon’s EVDO Rev.A networks, but sadly that’s not the case.
In fact, if you opt for the Verizon iPad 2 WiFi + 3G, then just as with the Verizon iPhone 4 you won’t be able to access cellular services outside of North America. The modem is CDMA-only, rather than a so-called World Phone modem, and don’t even think about 4G LTE. We’ll have to wait until the first teardowns to know whether, as in the Verizon iPhone, there’s actually a dual-mode modem in there that’s simply locked to one or the other connection types.