To achieve an instant bargain over the 3G iPad, a MiFi requires both $50 and a two-year contract; it costs $270 without. Verizon’s plan costs twice as much per month at $60
Over a two-year contract Verizon’s cost (50 + (24 * 60)) is $1,490. AT&T’s cost, since there’s no contract, would vary those same two years, but the worst-case scenario (130 + (24 * 30)) is $850.
The only way Verizon can sell the above scenario to anyone not looking to share a connection with up to five devices (i.e., 95% of consumers), is if the buyer doesn’t realize AT&T requires no contract and charges half Verizon’s monthly rate. Pretty shaky strategy, guys.