Apple have opened up pre-orders and released mobile network/pricing information for international versions of their iPad tablet device after they previously put back the UK release date due to high demand in the US following its launch there. As expected, many carriers are hiking their prices for Apple fans, with many data deals costing a lot more than they would on regular phones.
The good news is that you have a choice of three carriers here in the UK: O2, Orange or Vodafone. The deals offered by each carrier is slightly different, so you may want to do your research before diving into a data contract.
Bearing in mind that these plans are data only – no need for calls and text rates on the Apple iPad – you may have to fork out a little more than you originally wanted to for some decent data allowances!
Apple iPad UK 3G Pricing Deals
O2 users can purchase data on a day-by-day basis, with 500MB allowance costing £2 a day. If you’re going to be using the iPad more often, you can opt to pay monthly, with 1GB and 3GB plans costing £10 and £15 respectively.
Orange offer similar deals, although for £2 a day, you’ll only get 200MB of data as opposed to the 500MB on offer by O2. If you would prefer to spend on a week-by-week basis, you can pay £7.50 for 1GB per week. Alternatively, there are 3GB and 10GB per month plans on the table, which will put you back £15 and £25 respectively. The 10GB plan is the most generous plan of all the carriers in terms of GB per pound, although you’d have to be a heavy user for it to be worth your while.
Although Apple’s data overview was showing Vodafone to be offering 250MB a month for £10, the actual allowance for this plan is 1GB. For £25 a month, Vodafone are offering half of what Orange gives you at the same price, which probably won’t prove too popular with Vodafone users.
Although I’m still undecided on whether to get an iPad and whether it would be useful to me, I probably wouldn’t opt for any of these plans available. 3 Mobile UK offer a SIM only data deal giving you 1GB of data per month for just £5. Although this is a SIM deal, not a micro-SIM deal tailored for the iPad, it’s relatively simple to make your own micro-SIM from a standard SIM card. All you need is a pair of scissors and you’re good to go!
Deals in other countries
Although the pricing for UK data deals may be more expensive than most of us hoped it would be, it holds up well against deals being offered elsewhere in the world.
People buying the iPad in Germany have the choice of either Vodafone or O2 for their networks, and presuming my German is up to scratch (which it probably isn’t…) some of the deals offered are worse value than they are in the UK.
Vodafone are offering a ludicrously small data allowance of 200MB per month for a whopping 19,95€, although this jumps to an unlimited plan for 29,95€ a month.
O2 are offering 200MB per month for 10,00€, half the price of Vodafone, and even undercut Vodafone’s pricing whilst offering 1GB per month for €15. For an unlimited deal, users are charged 25,00€ a month.
So when can I get one?!
All flavours of the iPad are available for pre-order from Apple now, with the Wi-Fi models starting at £429 for 16GB and the base 3G model beginning at £529. Apple have said that pre-ordered units will be delivered by 28th May, so you haven’t got too long to wait for your UK release date, should you rather go to an Apple Store and test one out before committing to buying one!
Unfortunately, us Brits have suffered from Apple’s somewhat ridiculous international pricing schemes (again). The Wi-Fi model starts at $499 in the States, which equates to around £333 here in the UK. So unless you’re heading to the US and planning on buying an iPad Wifi version in the US to then bring back and use in the UK, you’re still more likely to get a cheaper deal if you use an international shipping service such as Bundlebox to ship an iPad from the USA.
Although if you consider the price of the iPad and previous Apple products at launch and given what it is capable of, you could still argue that it’s bit of a technological bargain! What do you think to the Apple iPad? Do you want one? Are you going to pre-order? Or do you want to wait until you’ve tried one for yourself? Or are you not interested in Apple’s latest offering?