AT&T iPad Case Brings 4G LTE Service to WiFi-Only Devices

iPad users who bought WiFi-only devices can add a 4G-enabled case from AT&T that will allow them to use their iPads even when they are not near a WiFi connection.


If you bought a WiFi-only iPad and have had buyer's remorse because you wish you also had 4G LTE capabilities, you might want to check out the new iPad case from AT&T that will extend 4G connectivity to iPads that don't have built-in 4G systems.

The new AT&T Modio Smartcase, unveiled Jan. 6 at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, is designed and built to bring 4G LTE services to iPads that came from the factory only with WiFi capabilities. The Modio Smartcase will be available for iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini tablets for customers of AT&T's network, according to the company.

The first Modio Smartcases will be available for iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini WiFi models to start, while additional cases for iPad Air 2 and iPad Air WiFi models will be available in the future, the company said. Release dates and pricing have yet to be announced. The cases will allow users to receive 4G LTE connectivity under AT&T Mobile Share plans.

"The AT&T Modio Smartcase gives you the freedom and convenience to connect your WiFi-only tablet to AT&T's blazing fast 4G LTE network," Jeff Bradley, an AT&T Mobility senior vice president for device marketing and developer services, said in a statement. "Secure and easy to set up and use, AT&T is proud to deliver you another industry first, enabling you to stay connected at home or while on-the-go."

The new smartcase includes a built-in 4,600mAh battery that gives users up to 10 hours of continuous use, and also includes a micro SD card slot that allows users to give their iPads up to 32GB of additional storage space. Users can also monitor and manage their data usage with the accompanying AT&T Modio Data application that comes with the case, according to AT&T.

Apple's latest iPads were unveiled in October 2014, when the new iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and iPad Mini 2 tablets were announced amid a sea of other desktop and laptop products.

The iPad Air 2 is touted by Apple as the thinnest and most powerful iPad that it has built so far, while the iPad Mini 3 received Touch ID and the iPad Mini 2 received a Retina display.

The iPad Air 2, which is 6.1mm thick and weighs less than a pound, gets an improved Retina display and Apple's new A8X chip, which delivers a 40 percent improvement in CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance of the iPad Air, according to Apple. Delivering up to 10 hours of battery life, the iPad Air 2 also receives the latest Metal graphics technology from iOS 8 as well as the M8 motion coprocessor for greater graphics detail. The tablet, boasting Apple's new Touch ID feature, is available in gold, silver or space gray.

Pricing for the iPad Air 2 with WiFi models starts at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 64GB model and $699 for the 128GB model, according to Apple. Pricing for iPad Air 2 with additional cellular capabilities starts at $629 for a 16GB model, $729 for a 64GB model and $829 for a 128GB model.