The Power of MiFi in the Tablet Era

Verizon Wireless (s vz) is trying to cash in on AT&T’s (s t) latest toy. Calling Apple’s (s aapl) iPad “an opportunity for VZW,” the nation’s largest carrier in a memo obtained by Engadget is coaching its sales staffers to encourage customers to pick up the much-hyped tablet but skip the 3G option and connect it to Verizon’s network with the $100 MiFi.
At first glance, it’s a compelling pitch. Consumers can save $130 on the iPad by forgoing AT&T’s troubled cellular network, and high-powered users might be swayed by the fact that the MiFi can power up to five gadgets simultaneously. But the MiFi is packaged with a 5GB data plan that costs $60 a month, while AT&T offers its unlimited iPad data service for only $30. Regardless, though, the effort is a timely reminder that with its MiFi Verizon be well-positioned to leverage the flood of iPad-like devices slated to come to market later this year — even if those gadgets aren’t actually sold by Verizon.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):
With the iPad, Apple Takes Google to the Mat
Image courtesy Flickr user nDevilTV.