Originally Posted by PoundSand
You are in the minority. There was a report in the last month or so that estimated only ~10% of tablets sold are 3g, so it's clearly not a deal breaker for the vast majority (says me posting from my wifi only tablet).
I don't say it's a deal breaker, just that it reduces the capability of the machine for many users and that Microsoft needs to come up with a machine that truly competes. Particularly if they want to appeal to business travelers.
And while 90 percent of tablets are sold with wifi only according to your article, I submit that this is probably related to purchase price more than a lack of interest in 3G capability. Given smaller price difference I think the numbers would change. Those I know with wifi only versions here bought it based on price considerations.
It may also be the case in America that lack of 3G is not a big deal, given the way the various 3g plans are structured; however in these parts where 3G service is a much cheaper proposition, a tablet not equipped with full mobile capability generates less interest. I remember that cell plans in America were (are?) generally cumbersome and expensive, with long term contracts and high prices compared to the European model, which basically charges you a nominal monthly fee plus a fixed fee per minute of talk time/data unit, or all inclusive data packages with no talk time.
as an example: I have an unlimited 3G data policy within the Nordics for 8 euros a month for the ipad. Unlimited streaming, for example, 24 hours a day for about 10 American dollars per billing cycle. It's cheaper than buying wifi to the house! Outside the nordics it gets more expensive but still reasonable. I don't know what the going rate is in america but based on my relative's reports, it's not this cheap?
The problem is that with wifi only the tablet doesn't help you when there is no hotspot. You can of course get around this these days with apps that turn your smart phone into a local hotspot, but generally the tablet cannot fulfill its complete possibilities unless it has both options.
In the end, I think that if you want your tablet to be a competent companion for international business travel, which is what I do, the 3G is important.