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Orange UK Subsidizes iPad WiFi + 3G Pricing, Will Canada Do The Same?

by on November 26th, 2010

Ever since the iPad was revealed to have a SIM card for 3G data usage, users wondered if the iPad would be subsidized by wireless companies. While this did not occur in Canada (at least not yet), where three wireless carriers (Telus, Bell, Rogers) provide contract-free data plans, other companies have decided to subsidize the iPad.

The company of note here is Orange UK, who is now offering subsidized pricing for 16, 32, and 64GB iPad WiFi + 3G. When users sign up for a 2-year contracted data term with Orange, the company sells the iPad WiFi + 3G for the following prices:

  • iPad WiFi + 3G 16GB: £199.00 ($316CDN)
  • iPad WiFi + 3G 32: £249.00 ($390CDN)
  • iPad WiFi + 3G 16GB: £349.00 ($546CDN)

For Orange customers, the company is offering two data plans. The first is for existing customers which is £25.00 ($39CDN) a month and users receive 1GB of anytime data. The plan further includes an additional 1GB of “quiet time data” (midnight – 4pm) and free WiFi access through BT Openzone.

The second data plan is for new Orange customers who get the same plan as detailed above but must pay an additional £2.00 ($3.13CDN). It is interesting to contrast the second data plan service with service of Canadian wireless carriers where existing customers are the ones normally paying more or getting less benefits for staying with the carrier.

For comparison, in Canada we pay $679, $779, or $879 for either the 16, 32, or 64GB iPad WiFi + 3G, respectively. The savings are clearly substantial when the device is subsidized. However, if Canadian wireless companies were to subsidize the iPad with similar pricing, it would likely mean 3-year contract terms instead of 2-year terms.

So the question remains, if Canadian companies were to subsidize the iPad WiFi + 3G, would you take the lower device price but with a 3-year term?

[Orange UK]

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