I’ve been pretty happy over the last couple of years with the quality of signal that I get on Verizon’s networks in the United States. I have not, however, been happy with their equipment — in particular their use of the term “GPS” to describe the cellular- and WiFi-derived position reporting. It is most certainly NOT Global Positioning Service (GPS) and cannot be used for the things we boaters need at sea.
Along now comes the Apple iPad, a fantastic device that many of us have lusted after, (and one which we love for its potential, if you’re happy with AT&T service) albeit with the proviso that we wanted it on our Verizon network. Once again, Verizon got it WRONG. Do NOT buy this version of the Apple iPad if you want to use it on the boat, unless you really don’t care about using it for any sort (primary or backup) navigation. Jeff Siegel, of ActiveCaptain has the details in the latest ActiveCaptain newsletter.
Here’s a quote from Jeff:
“We love the iPad and iPhone onboard. One of the most frequent questions we
get asked is “Should I get the new Verizon iPad.” The answer for boating use
is clear: NO.
Verizon is bundling Apple’s WiFi iPad with their MiFi aircard solution.
This provides good connectivity but DOES NOT provide a GPS chipset for
position. Don’t believe the clerk at the Verizon store – many don’t know or
understand the difference between GPS and WiFi positioning.
The industry is full of rumors of a Verizon iPhone and cellular iPad coming
out in January. That is the one to wait for. It will have full GPS position
support providing 20′ of accuracy in most situations and even provides your
position when below deck.”
So, dear reader, either go with the current non-Verizon 3G models (you have to buy the 3G-equipped versions to get the GPS chip), or keep holding your breath for Verizon to come through. Me? I’m starting to turn blue…
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