3 throws its iPad hat in the ring

While 3UK’s CEO practically ruled out bidding to sell Apple’s iPad direct, with the mobile operator’s strength firmly rooted in data, it always seemed likely that they would offer up tariffs targeted at the device.

And that’s precisely what’s happened.

Announced today but available on the 28th of May (Friday) when the iPad officially launches this side of the pond, two dedicated tariffs are on offer with support for the micro SIM card required by the device. What’s more, 3UK appear to be coming in cheaper – quite a lot cheaper in some cases – than the other three major carriers.

See also: People keep asking… what do I make of Apple’s iPad?

The best value and perhaps most appropriate tariff comes in at £15 per-month for 10GB of data. This compares to Orange’s £25 per-month for the same amount of data or £15 for 3GB.

That said, there are better alternatives for sporadic iPad 3G usage, such as O2’s £2 a day deal which gives you 500MB and unlimited Wi-Fi via supported hotspots.

See also: I’m really liking 3’s MiFi, mobile broadband turned WiFi hotspot

It’s also worth mentioning, however, that 3’s MiFi mobile wifi hotspot (reviewed here) makes a great iPad companion if you opt for the WiFi-only version of the device and, of course, is that bit more flexible (if a little more clunky) than going down the SIM card route.

Interestingly, Apple has yet to catch wind of 3UK’s iPad tariffs. It’s official website only lists the other three operators.

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last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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