You want to buy the new iPad when it launches this Friday, but are still toying how to get your mitts on one. You’ve got two clear options – you can buy it straight out from Apple here or you can get your new iPad with a network and get a little money subsidised from the hardware cost, though this ties you into a monthly contract.
Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G?
Illustrated clearly over at Apple’s website, there are six choices for anyone looking to get the new iPad, three Wi-Fi choices and three Wi-Fi + 4G (which might as well be 3G to us LTE-less Brits). Each of these two options comes in a range of sizes, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The range and respective prices are illustrated clearly below in the screen cap from Apple’s website:
If you buy the Wi-Fi only model, this won’t be able to connect to the internet without either a wireless hotspot or a phone sharing its internet connectivity to your new iPad – in which case, your choices are simple, 16Gb, 32Gb or 64GB.
If however you opt for the more expensive Wi-Fi + 4G version, you will want to consider getting a micro SIM card with your purchase to take full advantage of your tablet. You can either do this through Apple’s website or through that of your preferred network.
Buying through the Apple website
When you choose your iPad model, one of the accessory options before you hit the checkout is a micro SIM card. These can be purchased across networks (Vodafone, Three, Orange and O2). If buying your micro SIM through the Apple website, you will have to arrange a plan with your network once your iPad and micro SIM arrive.
The only micro SIM that costs anything is Three’s, with a £5 charge, however it comes with data. This would be our recommendation as it packs a generous 1GB out of the box.
Buying through your network
There are a number of advantages to buying your micro SIM through your network. If you know you want a monthly rolling contract for example, it saves the hassle of adding one after. These also end up being better value for money for the heavy data users out there. Here are a run down of tariffs based on what we know thus far.
Update: Three has announced its prices for the new iPad. Three’s new iPad contracts are all 24 months long and are priced as follows:
- new iPad 16GB £99 up front. Monthly cost: £29 a month
- new iPad 16GB £159 up front. Monthly cost: £25 a month
- new iPad 32GB £169 up front. Monthly cost: £29 a month
- new iPad 32GB £229 up front. Monthly cost: £25 a month
- new iPad 64GB £249 up front. Monthly cost: £29 a month
- new iPad 64GB £299 up front. Monthly cost: £25 a month
All of these deals will give you 15GB of data to use a month.
As well as this, if you plan on buying a new iPad outright and not as part of a contract, you can get a Three micro SIM and take advantages of these tariffs:
Monthly – 1 month rolling contract with either:
1GB for £7.50 per month
10GB for £15 per month
Pay-as-you-go – Top up as needed:
1GB for £10.49 – valid for 30 days
3GB for £20.49 – valid for 3 months
Update: Orange has unveiled its prices for the new iPad, which offer existing Orange customers some generous discounts on the up front price.
If you’re already and Orange customer then you’ll be able to get the new iPad on a 24 month contract for the following prices:
- new iPad 16GB £199
- new iPad 32GB £249
- new iPad 64GB £349
New customers who want to get a new iPad on an Orange contract will have to pay a little more:
- new iPad 16GB £229
- new iPad 32GB £279
- new iPad 64GB £379
Regardless of whether you’re an existing or new Orange customer, the 24 month contracts will give you 1GB of data a month plus an extra 1GB of data for use during a ‘quiet time’ period – from midnight to 4am. 10GB worth of internet use on BT’s Openzone hotspots is also included.
Orange Connected: Get an iPhone and a new iPad in one contract
Orange is also selling iPhones and new iPads together as part of its Orange Connected contracts. Costing £66 a month, these give you 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data to use on your iPhone and your new iPad.
You can pick up 8GB versions the older iPhone 3GS free with the new iPads, and the 8GB iPhone 4 free with the 16GB and 32GB new iPads – if you want the 64GB with an 8GB iPhone 4 there’s a £49.99 up front cost.
If you want a new 16GB iPhone 4S you can get one free with a 16GB new iPad as well for £66 a month and no up front fee.
T-Mobile usually subsidises the price of the tablet and we’re expecting them to do something along these lines with the new iPad. What does this mean? You could end up paying as little as £199 for your iPad with a monthly contract in the region of £25. Yet to release they’re pricing, T-Mobile have however confirmed that they will be stocking Apple’s Retina display tablet so we’ll update this when we know more. In the meantime, check T-Mobile’s coming soon page which should update shortly.
O2 has confirmed that they won’t be selling the new iPad directly, however, will be selling data only micro SIMS at the following daily and monthly rates:
Monthly – rolling contract
- 1GB for £10.21 per month + Openzone Wi-Fi
- 2GB for £15.32 per month + Openzone Wi-Fi
- 200MB for £2.04 per day + Openzone Wi-Fi
Vodafone has yet to confirm pricing for the new iPad. But it currently offers the iPad 2 for £229 up front then £27 a month over 24 months. Otherwise the micro SIM card is available on a 30-day plan:
- 500MB for £7.50 per month
- 2GB +1GB BT Openzone Wi-Fi for £15 per month
This information is being updated by networks with deals including the new iPad in the works. In turn, we’ll keep updating this piece but in the meantime, we hope it’s served as a digestible guide as to which iPad to buy, how much you’ll need to spend on the tablet and what it will cost you to get it connected.