Today Apple announced the official release date for the iPad here in the UK, along with pricing, and Orange announced pricing for its Data Plans – are we being ripped off?

The iPad has been out now for a little while in the US and we have refrained from posting about it here at UWHS. Not for any main reason other than we just don’t have one yet! But today, the release date and pricing was released by Apple for the UK. I still wasn’t going to post anything, mainly because the information is all over the web, on every news site, and a lot of other blogging sites, but the cost thing has really got me steaming!

ipad

The release date will be the 28th May with pre-orders starting this Monday.

The pricing is as follows:

  • 16GB, wifi only – £429 inc vat
  • 32GB, wifi only – £499 inc vat
  • 64GB, wifi only – £599 inc vat
  • 16GB, wifi/3G – £529 inc vat
  • 32GB, wifi/3G – £599 inc vat
  • 64GB, wifi/3G – £699 inc vat
  • So, roughly speaking here in the UK we will be paying nearly £100 more for the iPad than our American cousins, once again proving that we get charged more. This coupled with the fact that it is being released later than planned as Apple apparently didn’t realise the demand it would have in the US is a bit of a sting for those who are interested in it.

    When I first heard about it I was pretty excited, it looks cool, and Apple do make pretty good products. However, I was soon disappointed to hear that it wouldn’t support Flash and didn’t have any USB ports, plus a few other little niggling issues. So now that the pricing has been released, along with my disappointment on the other issues, I have to ask myself is it really worth paying all that money for something that looks nice but delivers less than a netbook for significantly more money?

    Now I haven’t actually used one yet – so maybe when I have I will say “wow, I must have one of these”, but at the moment I couldn’t see a situation where I could only take the iPad with me away because of the needs of Flash and USB!

    But like every new Apple product that comes out, the version 1 product is to get you interested, the version 2 product starts to deliver, so maybe it will be worth holding off until next year when the next iPads are released?

    If you want to see the full spec of the iPad, you can click here: http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/specs/

    Ok, so if that wasn’t bad enough, if you really want to get the most out of the iPad and actually use it anywhere, you will need to buy the 3G version, and on top of that you will need to buy a data plan from a mobile provider, such as Orange, Vodafone or 02.

    Well so far only Orange have released pricing, and I have to say it’s a lot higher than I thought it would be! They are offering a “pay for what you use” policy, at 5p per MB, with a monthly price cap of £40. There are also some other options that bring the price down, but also reduce the allowed usage as well.

    Compared to the pricing for similar plans in the US, we are once again looking at paying nearly double for the privilege of using an already over-subscribed, under-performing mobile network, so as you can probably guess, I’m not impressed. Now neither Vodafone or 02 have announced their price plans yet, but I would hazard a guess they will be pretty similar.

    So, do I really want to be paying all that for the iPad and a data plan, for a device that cant deliver all the capabilities of a modern netbook whilst also paying for my netbook, my iPhone, my data plan on my iPhone, etc.

    Again, maybe I will change my mind once I have actually used an iPad, I know a few people who said they wouldn’t touch one, but now say they can’t live without them.

    Do you have one? If so, let us know what you think. Is it worth it and would you buy one?

    Here is the full press release from Orange:

    Orange UK Announces Data Plans for iPad Wi-Fi + 3G

    Orange today announced that it is extending its partnership with Apple to offer new iPad plans for customers in the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Switzerland. The partnership between Orange and Apple, which has already seen iPhone launch with Orange in 30 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa, will extend later in 2010 with the launch of iPad in additional Orange markets.
    Orange UK will offer tailored 3G data plans for iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, from 10th May, and will launch a pre-registration site for SIMs at Orange.co.uk/iPad. Pay-as-you-consume, daily, weekly and monthly data plans will be available, providing the freedom to choose a type of plan depending on usage.

    iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before. Users can browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, all using iPad’s revolutionary Multi-Touch user interface. iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models are just 0.5 inches thick and weigh just 1.6 pounds—thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook—and deliver up to 10 hours of battery life for surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching videos or listening to music, and up to nine hours of surfing the web using a 3G data network.*

    Orange, recently recognised as the best mobile broadband provider in the UK by Independent research firm YouGov, will offer micro-SIMs for iPad free of charge to consumers. From the 10th May the micro-SIMs can be ordered from Orange shops, www.orange.co.uk/shop and Orange telesales, as well as directly from Apple. Customers will be able to register their micro-SIMs by calling Orange customer service on 07973 100 150.

    iPad users will also benefit from access to Orange iPad apps, including Orange Wednesdays, the popular 2-for-1 cinema ticket offer; Your Account, which allows users to track usage and purchase data bundles; and Orange Wi-Fi hotspot locator.

    Pricing

    Orange has developed a simple “pay for what you use” price plan for iPad, charging for data access at a rate of 5p per MB of usage each month, costing no more than £40 per month (excluding the optional bundles). In addition consumers can also choose from four money-saving bundles below for more planned or frequent usage.

    iPad plan : Cost

    Pay monthly for what you use : 5p (per MB)

    All customers will enjoy a £10 credit upon activation of any Orange iPad data plan, for use at time.

    iPad bundles


    Cost : UK Usage Allowance

    iPad Daily (valid for 1 day until midnight) : £2 : 200MB

    iPad Weekly (valid for 7 days until midnight) : £7.50 : 1GB

    iPad Monthly 15 (recurring) : £15 : 3GB + unlimited browsing at Wi-Fi hotspots**

    iPad Monthly 25 (recurring) : £25 : 10GB + unlimited browsing at Wi-Fi hotspots**

    Additional data consumed beyond bundle allowance will be billed at 5p/MB

    Pay as you consume plan is subject to fair usage.

    **Fair usage policy of 750MB applies.  Wi-Fi hotspots at UK’s largest single public Wi-Fi network, BT Openzone

    The micro-SIM will slot into the iPad.

    MicroSim_JPG_autothumb_w-550_scale