It’s not unusual for carriers to offer subsidized pricing for pricey Apple products that work on their network. Cellular versions of the iPad and Apple Watch cost quite a bit more than the Wi-Fi-only versions, and carriers help hide that cost by offering discounts on cellular-enabled models.
These days, the discounts typically come in the form of rebates after you pay the full price for your iPad or Apple Watch. There’s plenty of fine print— you have to activate specific plans or pay for your device using a monthly payment plan, and then register the device with the carrier within a certain time limit. Some reported that the rebates Verizon and T-Mobile were offering rebates on cellular-enabled versions of the iPad (up to $200) and Apple Watch (up to $100) were denied even after meeting all the necessary criteria.
Now, it appears the rebates on those products from Verizon and T-Mobile are over. Apple’s purchase pages for the iPad Pro (as well as other iPads) and the Apple Watch no longer contain any language about rebates for the cellular-enabled versions. There are still rebates and special offers available for the iPhone 13 available from all U.S. carriers.
Apple hasn’t commented on the removal of the rebate program, but it’s possible it was unhappy with the customer experience of obtaining them, or the deals were never expected to last into the new year. Whichever the case, it’s likely that we’ll see rebates, trade-in deals, or other ways to hide the cost of cellular-enabled iPads and Apple Watches in the future, hopefully with clearer terms and conditions.
I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life - over 20 years. I like to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.