Which iPad2 model should you buy?

I decided to publish this post after a chat with a friend who is looking to buy the iPad2, but she is not sure which model to choose.

iPad2There are 2 main factors that determine the price of iPad2: (1) memory (measured in gigabytes), and (2) WIFI/Cellular.  This post is based on the second factor.

The iPad2 3G model costs R1,100 more than the one with WIFI only! We do not have many WIFI hot spots or WIFI routers in our homes in Mzansi, let alone the fact that there is a limited range of 3G routers that are compatible with all mobile operator data cards (I have been looking, until now). As a result, many people would consider spending the additional amount for the iPad2 3G model.

Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, there is an alternative solution.Huawei MIFI You can buy the iPad2 with WIFI only, and a Huawei mobile wireless modem (called MIFI) that costs just under R1,500. The key reason why you must consider this option, is that you can wirelessly connect 4 additional devices on your MIFI. While MIFI has been in the market for 2 years, it has limited awareness in Mzansi.  Like all the other Huawei mobile modems, MIFI is a “plug-and-play”. I connect a Mac, a PC and iPhone to my MIFI and it works a like a charm. This makes it a great value for money.

Huawei MIFIMIFI is small, it weighs only 1.5kg, and its battery life lasts up to 5 hours.  This allows me to keep it always on in my pocket or bag while mobile and I am able to browse the net, download mobile apps, be on WhatsApp and make Skype calls on my wirelessly connected iPhone. It is worth mentioning that I use Vodacom for voice calls and Cell C for data, and I am able to switch between the two seamlessly on my iPhone.

Your nearest iStore is the best place to purchase the Huawei E583X-597e. Huawei has recently released the latest E586 that is said to have connection speed that is 40% better. One hopes this model will be available in the country soon.



  • Nuffdotty – where thoughts on the subject of education, mostly relating to South Africa, are shared
  • Diski4Life – a blog about development of South African soccer post World Cup 2010

4 thoughts on “Which iPad2 model should you buy?

  1. My daughter is over SA in Durban now studying at the university there and she is trying to locate the MiFi for her IPad2, she does not have the 3G on her Ipad, everywhere she goes they tell her she has to have the 3G to use the MiFi connections. I told her about what you said but she said the apple store acted like they did not know what she was talking about. Do you have any adive I can give her before she goes out again to look for the correct MiFi. Perhaps she is not getting her point across. At the univeristy she is at, they have blocked the students from using any type of skype, or facetime, and other video / chat sites, I guess there network cannot handle it. It it hard for the international students to communitcate with us for free. If she had the MiFi she could use that in her dorm room, instead of having to go to the internet cafes all the time. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Clare. Thank you for finding my post to be useful. Sad that your daughter cannot get help from her nearest I-Store, mainly because they are like the “exclusive” retailers of the Huawei MiFi that is in my post. On the point of connecting wirelessly with her iPad2, and if I understand you, this should not be a problem at all with a wireless modem.

      I recommend that your daughter read my post as a starter. Afterwards, she must ask for the device by name and model number (found in the post) at the I-Store. Alternatively, Vodacom now has wifi modems in stock as well, which are branded Vodafone but are made by Huawei. The only challenge here is that these Vodacom modems are configured to work with Vodacom data sims only, but this configuration can be changed. I’m not sure if these modems can be bought separately, or if they are part of Vodacom data contracts, but she can find this out. Another option is just googling “wifi modems south africa” for more options.

      Hope she comes right.

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