iPad buying guide: where to get it

iPad buying guide: where to get it

Planning to buy the new iPad? Here's a rundown of availability and pricing from Australia's telcos and retail stores.

The new iPad (which is definitely not officially called the iPad 3) hit Australian stores this morning, following a limited midnight launch at select Telstra stores.

The new Apple iPad (not iPad 3)

Here's an overview of what you can expect to pay from the major retailers and telco providers in Australia, along with a quick recap of the tablet's new features. 

In Pictures: Apple's new iPad 3

For help with clarity, we have concentrated on the 16GB "4G" model, which is the entry-level model offered by telco providers. 

Note that the new iPad supports 700MHz and 2100MHz spectrum bands which means the "4G" LTE services currently available in Australia are not supported at LTE speeds on the iPad. However it does support dual channel HSPA+, for which Telstra is quoting download speeds from 1.1Mbps to 20Mbps, which obviously depend greatly on a number of conditions.

Telstra

Telstra opened its George St, Sydney and Bourke St, Melbourne stores at midnight this morning -- you can see a video of the first customer walking away with his new tablet here

The new iPad is being offered by Telstra on a range of DC-HSPA+ data plans, with prices starting at $48 per month on a 24-month contract with 1GB data allowance.

You can increase the monthly data to up to 15GB, which brings the price up to $89 per month on a 24-month contract. (Click here for a full list of Telstra data plans). 

Telstra is also selling the device on a variety of Business plans, with pricing starting at $54 per month with 1GB of data over 24 months.

16GB iPad on Telstra network (click to enlarge)

Optus/Vodafone

Optus and Vodafone are also selling the new iPad from today on various plans.

Optus' pricing starts at $38.95 per month, on a 24 month contract with 500MB data (see a full list of Optus iPad plans here). As with Telstra, you can also pick up the new iPad on an Optus business plan. (Click here to see more.) 

16GB iPad on Optus network (click to enlarge)

Vodafone's entry-level iPad deal starts at $47 per month over 25 months, which includes 2GB of data. You can increase the data allowance to a maximum of 18GB, which carries a cost of $87 per month (over 24 months).

16GB iPad on Vodafone network (click to enlarge)

Comparison table: New iPad 24-month plans (16GB model)

Carrier Price Data

 Telstra                

   
  $48 1GB 
  $58 4GB 
  $68 8GB 
  $98 15GB
     

 Optus

   
  $38          500MB          
  $41 1GB
  $45 2GB
  $49 4GB
   $59  8GB
  $79  16GB

 Vodafone

                                    
  $47 2GB
  $57 6GB
  $67 12GB
  $77 14GB
  $87 18GB

As you can see from the above table, the different data allowances makes it difficult to compare iPad plans across different telcos. Of course, you also have to factor customer service and network reliability into your buying decision.

Retail

If you prefer to buy your iPad outright, it currently retails through Dick Smith, Big W, JB Hi-Fi and Target, along with Apple stores.

The recommended retail price for the Wi-Fi versions are as follows:

  • 16GB = $539
  • 32GB = $649 
  • 64GB = $759 

Here are the recommended retail prices for the Wi-Fi + 4G models:

  • 16GB = $679
  • 32GB = $789 
  • 64GB = $899

You can save some money by visiting third-party resellers. Big W is currently selling the 16GB WiFi model for $498 - a saving of more than $40. JB HiFi, meanwhile, is selling the same model for $537 (a far less impressive $2 off the RRP).

Comparison table: New iPad retailer prices

Retailer Model Price

 Big W                     

   
  16GB (WiFi) $498
  32GB (WiFi) $628
  64GB (WiFi)  $748
  16GB (WiFI+3G) $668
   32GB (WiFi+3G)  $778
   64GB (WiFi + 3G) $858

 JB HiFi 

                                                  
  16GB (WiFi) $537
  32GB (WiFi) $646
  64GB (WiFi) $758
   16GB (WiFI+3G) $675
   32GB (WiFi+3G)  $784
   64GB (WiFi + 3G) $896
 Dick Smith               
  16GB (WiFi) $539
 

          32GB (WiFi)          

$649
  64GB (WiFi) $759
  16GB (WiFI+3G) $679
  32GB (WiFi+3G $789
  64GB (WiFi + 3G) $899

The original iPad 2 will continue to be sold alongside the new iPad. The price has been cut to $429 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model (a saving of $70).

Online

Customers have been able to pre-order the new iPad online since 8th March, though Apple yesterday confirmed pre-orders had sold out. Those who ordered the tablet after the March 8 announcement will wait an extra week for delivery. To make a purchase, pay a visit to Apple's online store

Apple isn't the only website where you can purchase the new iPad online. One of the better deals we've seen is from Kogan Technologies, which is selling the 16GB Wi-Fi model for $479. However, it's worth noting that Kogan doesn't expect to dispatch the new iPad until 2nd April (around a fortnight from now).

For a full list of iPad pricing from Kogan, click here.

 

A trawl of Google Shopping will turn up a bunch of similar deals on the new iPad 3, although caution and research is naturally advised before handing over your cash to an unfamilar site.

About the new iPad

The new iPad - which Apple is simply calling "iPad" - comes with some significant hardware upgrades over its predecessor, including a 9.7in Retina display with 2048x1536 resolution, a dual-core A5X processor and 4G connectivity for access to LTE networks (although, as we explained earlier, it works with 700MHz and 2100MHz spectrum bands which means Telstra's 4G network is not supported).

The new iPad's camera has also been upgraded to 5 megapixels (the iPad 2 camera is less than a megapixel), with 1080p video recording. Other camera improvements include auto-exposure, noise reduction and improved image stabilisation.

It also boasts a new microphone key, which can be used to access the inbuilt Siri tool. Popular apps such as iPhoto, iWork, iMovie and GarageBand have also received updates. Battery life, meanwhile, is rated at 10 hours; the same as the iPad 2. 
 
Read our first impressions of the new iPad here.



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See more about:  ipad  |  apple  |  tablets  |  mobilecomputing  |  price  |  optus  |  telstra  |  vodafone  |  big w  |  ipad
 
 

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