Updated 16/03/12: Apple will start selling its new iPad at 8am tomorrow morning. But if you haven’t pre-ordered one and aren’t sitting in the queue already then you might be wondering what your options are.
A complete buying guide to the new Apple ipad
Here’s a round-up of where you can buy the new iPad and how much it will cost for the different models with various deals. See also: New iPad review.
You can, of course, buy your iPad straight from Apple, either by walking into a store or online. There are six options to choose from; A Wi-Fi only model in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB capacities and a Wi-Fi and 4G model in the same storage capacities. Prices start at £399 for the Wi-Fi only 16GB and up to £479 and £559 for the 32GB and 64GB models. You can add £100 to these prices to add 4G connectivity.
At the time of writing a new iPad from Apple will be dispatched in two to three weeks.
Three will be selling the new iPad from tomorrow, offering all six variations of the tablet. The contacts last 24 months and all provide 15GB of data usage per month. Here’s a breakdown of the deals.
- new iPad 16GB £99 up front. £29 a month
- new iPad 16GB £159 up front. £25 a month
- new iPad 32GB £169 up front. £29 a month
- new iPad 32GB £229 up front. £25 a month
- new iPad 64GB £249 up front. £29 a month
- new iPad 64GB £299 up front. £25 a month
Another option with Three is to opt for a one month rolling contract. There’s a £7 per month SIM which offers 1GB of data per month or a £15 per month with 10GB of data.
Like Three, Orange is another mobile operator which will sell the iPad tomorrow. Orange’s 24 month contract comes with 1GB of anytime data, 1GB of quiet-time data (12am-4pm) and unlimited access to BT Openzone Wi-Fi. Below is a table of the upfront cost for the new iPad with Orange.
Orange is also offering the new iPad with a choice of iPhone starting at £66 per month on a 24 month contract.
Vodafone’s set of contracts are yet again 24 months long for £27 per month. The deal includes a 2GB data allowance and 1GB of BT Openzone. Here’s a breakdown of the upfront cost for the different iPad models.
- new iPad 16GB £199 up front.
- new iPad 32GB £275 up front.
- new iPad 64GB £345 up front.
The firm is also offering the iPad 2 on the same contract with the same data allowances with an upfront cost of £139 for the 16GB model. Alternatively, a 30 day SIM only plan is available similar to Three’s. Paying £15 per month gets you the same data allowance as the 24 month contract while £7.50 gets 500MB of data ant 1GB of BT Openzone.
O2 has said it will not be selling the new iPad directly but an O2 microSIM can be purchased with the tablet straight from Apple.
Get your own deal
Altough getting an iPad on a contact reduces the upfront cost of the device, you can end up paying a lot of money over the two year period. A money saving method is to get the Wi-Fi and 4G model of the iPad and buy a SIM only deal from the mobile operator. For example, Giff Gaff does a £5 per month SIM which comes with 500MB of data.
A secondary advantage here is that you’re not locked down to a contract so you can opt out as and when you like. This way when the next generation iPad comes out you can simply sell your current model and upgrade without the hassle of being mid-way through a two year contract.
If your wallet can’t stretch to a new iPad then you can pick up an iPad 2 from Apple for £329 for a WiFi only model. You can also get one for even less if you pick up a refurbished model, starting at £289.