If you’re still looking to grab an iPad cheap, there’s a new option that will get you one cheaper than pretty much any other, including buying used. Verizon is offering first-generation iPads starting at $299 to clear out remaining stock, according to various reports.
The deals are available at Verizon’s corporate-owned retail stores (as opposed to the franchised locations) for as long as stock holds out. As mentioned, the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad is just $299.99 (a full $200 off from its pre-iPad 2 launch price), the 32 GB model is $399.99 and the 64 GB model is $499.99. Stores are obviously selling out quickly at these prices, so if you’re interested, you should get out quickly to the nearest location or perhaps call ahead so you don’t make the drive for nothing.
Verizon originally began offering iPads late last year, along with MiFi devices to provide data service. The iPad deals above are for the devices alone, and don’t require any kind of contract or data plan purchase, according to reports. Verizon now offers a CDMA-equipped version of the iPad 2 with a built-in 3G radio.
The best deal to date for new first-gen iPads has probably been AT&T’s discounted 3G-capable models, but Verizon lowers the price of entry for iPad ownership further still. At this price, if I lived within reasonable range of a Verizon retail location I’d consider buying a second first-gen iPad as a gift or backup device. My girlfriend and my wallet will both be very glad that I don’t live within reasonable distance of any such stores.