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You're the Pundit: Do iPad data buckets matter?

When it comes to forecasting the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you have your go at it. Today's topic is data buckets.

Data buckets refer to the bandwidth allocation you can purchase monthly on the iPad. For example, AT&T's smallest bucket is 250 MB at $15/month, then jumping up to 3GB at $30/month. Verizon offers 1GB at $20/month and 2GB at $30. Bottom feeders can get 4x the monthly data for $5 more by choosing Verizon over AT&T.

Many iPad consumers tell us that bucket size doesn't seem to matter. They just care that their unit can connect to the Internet whenever they're on the go, and that their credit card isn't maxed out at the end of the month. Unlike iPhones, which are used anywhere and anytime, we hear that iPads are more often taken out in Wi-Fi friendly locations like cafés in addition to unfriendly ones like DMVs and Doctors offices, requiring less on-the-go data use than driving-while-Siri-ing.

Minimal use may sound like a counter-intuitive idea. After all, many iPad owners cling to their grandfathered unlimited accounts. Others love streaming movies and TV shows. And yet, from our experience, the vast majority of iPad users we encounter care primarily about light surfing, messaging and email.

Outside of the power-users, does bucket-size matter for most iPad users? Do you see soccer moms, business folk, and retired grandparents really worrying about balancing buckets and usage? Or are we seeing a skewed sample among typical iPad users?

You tell us. Place your vote in this poll and then join in the comments with all your insight.

Do normal (non-power) iPad users really care about bucket size?
Sure they do. And they'll shop around for the best value per megabyte, just like "power" users do.215 (25.4%)
They'll worry about maxing out over the month, but so long as they don't encounter overage too often, it's no big deal.266 (31.4%)
Are you kidding? Most of them will never come close to overing-out in a typical month. They'll sign up for the cheapest plan, and that's all.240 (28.3%)
The snakehead fish can walk on land.97 (11.4%)
Something else. I'll tell you in the comments.30 (3.5%)



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iPad

When it comes to forecasting the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you...