The popular Apple iPad device has gone on sale this week on pay monthly deals from Orange and T-Mobile. Both networks offer roughly the same iPad contract with 1GB of anytime mobile broadband access a month and 1GB of off peak (midnight to 4pm) data per month for £27. Both networks also offer a £2 discount for their current customers making the contracts £25 a month. So far so run of the mill but where these deals get really interesting is with the price of the iPad itself. Apple’s popular tablet has received rave reviews but one of the things that has held it back from the same kind of adoption Apple saw with iPods is the very high price, up to £650 for the 3G version.
So it will come as a very pleasant surprise to many shoppers to see that Orange and T-Mobile’s pay monthly iPad deals come at a heavily discounted price. The 16GB version is only £199 whilst you will pay £249 for the 32GB version and £349 for the 64GB, roughly a £300 discount in every case. You do have to sign up for a 24 month contract but in return you also get the equivalent of Orange’s £15 a month mobile broadband deal so you could argue that the iPad is in essence costing £10 a month for 24 months making a decent overall saving as well as hugely reducing the upfront cost. does panda express take apple pay
With Christmas just around the corner many gadget fans may be tempted to dive in to these offers straight away but if you can hang on for a little longer there may be a few reasons to wait rather than snapping up these first deals to appear on the market. For one thing other networks including 3 and Vodafone have also announced that they will be offering the iPad on subsidised pay monthly contracts in the near future. Vodafone have yet to announce any pricing but 3 have publicly stated that they will be offering the device for the same up front price as Orange and T-Mobile but for £2 a month less on the contract and with 15GB rather than 1-2GB of included mobile broadband data. Given that 3 have the best 3G coverage of any network and have recently won a lot of awards for their mobile broadband service it may make sense to wait for their deal, not to mention the fact that Vodafone may yet offer something even stronger.
And on top of this there has to be some thought around whether this really is the time to buy an iPad as well. Apple’s device is undeniably very appealing with a gorgeous 9″ high resolution screen, full iTunes compatibility, great speakers and a huge range of apps from Apple’s popular App Store but since launching a host of competitive products like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Dell’s Streak have raised the bar for tablet computing, incorporating such features as cameras, greater portability and USB ports. This competition means that the iPad isn’t quite the stand out must have gadget it was only a few months ago and speculation is growing that Apple will soon launch an iPad 2, or even an iPad Nano to combat this competition. If that were to happen early in the new year it might be more than a little frustrating for those who had just signed up to a two year contract on a newly out of date device.
That said the iPad is undeniably a gorgeous piece of tech and the timing of the launch couldn’t be better as Christmas shopping kicks of in earnest. If you really can’t wait for 3 or Vodafone and are happy with the iPad spec as it is you could do worse than checking out their offers as this definitely looks the best way to buy an iPad right now.