Verizon Finally Gets Apple — The iPad, That Is; AT&T Will Sell, Too

Apple’s pre-holiday mass-market retail expansion for iPad continues with current mobile partner AT&T (NYSE: T) and expected iPhone partner Verizon. The carriers’ stores — more than 4,000 locations combined — will carry the iPad starting Oct. 28: AT&T, emphasizing its data plans, will have the 3G models only, while Verizon will offer Wi-Fi+ MiFi packages and Wi-Fi-only models.

Offering MiFi, already the way some owners add data access to the iPad, allows Verizon to compete directly with AT&T but in a less-elegant way. Instead of an all-on-one solution that the AT&T versions, the MiFi iPad user will have two devices. The battery life for data access also will be lower: MiFis average up to four hours of active use. On the plus side, the MiFis are hotspots that create networks for up to five Wi-Fi devices.

The combo offerings are priced the same whether it’s with 3G or Mifi: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB. The data plans vary. AT&T’s monthly plans are $14.99 for 250MB or $25 for 2GB with no contract and includes access at AT&T hotspots. Verizon’s iPad plan offers up to 1GB of data for $20 a month.

More details, although not many, in the releases: AT&T, Verizon.

Update: More on Verizon and data access. The new Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) vendor is offering a full spread of iPad month-to-month plans, starting with the 2GB version mentioned above and escalating to $35 (3GB), $50 (5GB) and $80 (10GB) Each comes with a $10 fee per 1GB overage.

By comparison, MiFi-only buyers pay $49 for the hotspot about a $50 rebate, then have to sign two-year contracts. The plans range from $39.99 for 250MB monthly to $59.99 for 5GB. A Droid X hotspot plan is $20 for 2GB a month plus 5 cents per megabyte over the allowance.