US wireless carriers have never subsidized the price of the Apple iPad. Instead, they sell the tablet for full-price, and offer customers the chance to pay for mobile broadband on a month-to-month basis.
But up until recently carriers such as Verizon Wireless have taken a more phone-like approach with Android tablets, selling them for discounted prices to customers willing to sign a 2-year service contract.
Now Verizon Wireless is giving its Android tablets an iPad-like pricing makeover. All of the Motorola and Samsung tablets Verizon offers now sell for full-price, at $440 and up.
The new pricing follows Verizon’s launch of new “Share Everything” plans, which let you pay for all of your wireless devices on a single bill. That means once you’ve paid $630 for your iPad, or $550 for your Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, you can add it to your phone plan for $10 per month.
To be honest, wireless carriers have rarely offered great deals on subsidized tablets anyway. Usually they just knock $100 or $200 off the price and then charge as much as $30 per month for mobile broadband access. Paying full price for the tablet up front could actually save you money over the course of a 2-year contract.
On the other hand, if you really want to save money you can just buy a WiFi-only tablet and use it around the house or office or at free public WiFi hotspots.