The Apple iPad mini has officially arrived at EE to take advantage of its speedy 4G network
EE revealed that it has begun selling the Apple iPad Mini for as little as £49 for the tablet, if it is tied into a £35 per month contract plan. A full list of the tariffs are available here.
Expensive iPad Mini Option
As expected, there are a variety of 4G contract options for the user who wish to use the small iPad for speedy 4G internet access. However it seems that some care should be exercised, as the plans can work out rather expensive.
On the surface for example, the cheapest option from EE would be to pay £149.99 for the 16GB iPad Mini itself, tied into a £25.99 per month 24 month contract, which includes 3GB of data per month. However over the two year contract, the user will end up paying a hefty total cost of £773.75.
Likewise if the user opts to pay a more reasonable £49.99 for the 16GB iPad Mini itself, tied into a £35.99 per month contract over 24 months that gives 8GB of data, the user will end up paying a whopping £913.75 over the course of their contract.
It seems that customers will be paying for the privilege of using EE’s 4G network, which some people feel is expensive, although EE has previously defended its “premium pricing.”
For those users who are on a tight budget and are desperate to get their hands on an iPad Mini with a data package, 3UK, Orange and T-Mobile are all offering more reasonably priced deals for the iPad Mini, but running on their slower 3G networks.
However the cheapest option is of course for users to take the hit of a heavy upfront purchase price for the iPad Mini, and then opt for a rolling monthly contract with the mobile operator of your choice. This will allow the user to change operators when other, and hopefully more price competitive 4G networks, are rolled out next year.
Another note of caution with the EE package is that users hoping to get their 4G iPad Mini’s before Christmas may be disappointed. EE is quoting a possible 35 days for delivery.
The above data plans starkly illustrate the high costs for tablet users accessing the Internet whilst on the move. Yet with the proliferation of Wi-Fi networks in the UK, users are finding they can still maintain reasonable connectivity by opting to purchase Wi-Fi only models, which are much easier on the wallet.
The Wi-Fi only iPad Mini (16GB) for example costs £269, and can tap into Wi-Fi networks at home, work, etc. Or users can utilise their smartphones as a 3G or 4G dongle for their tablets.
This is certainly cheaper than opting for the more expensive Wi-Fi and 4G compatible iPad Mini’s, which have a UK retail price starting at £369.
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