updated 10:20 am EST, Fri December 3, 2010
Plans vary mostly in data caps
Several UK cellular carriers are now selling subsidized versions of the iPad, having previously relied on standard pre-paid options. In all instances, only 3G versions of the tablet are eligible, tied to two-year contracts. A 16GB model costs £199, while 32GB is £249 and 64GB is £349. Normally a 3G iPad costs a minimum of £529.
Orange, T-Mobile and 3 UK are all offering £25 monthly data plans for the contracts, though the cost goes up £2 for people new to Orange or T-Mobile. The latter two carriers are also limiting people to 1GB of "anytime" data, plus an extra 1GB of use in "quiet time" between midnight and 10AM. 3 is offering the most generous plan, which includes a flat 15GB.
The UK is just the second region to get subsidized iPads. The first was South Korea, where local carrier KT began selling iPads for as little as the equivalent of $192 on November 30th. Most 3G iPad carriers are only offering pre-paid plans, which while increasing hardware prices allows people to cancel or renew data at will.