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Vodafone, Orange & O2 To Introduce iPad In May

Three of the biggest mobile phone operators in the UK, Vodafone, Orange and O2 have simultaneously announced that they will offer data plans for the Apple iPad 3G models by the end of May.

The three companies have issued almost similar press releases on the day that Apple announced that it was postponing the global launch of the iPad because of unexpectedly high demands in the US.

Many tech news outlets noted that the press releases used almost the same words, a sign perhaps that Apple is keeping a close look at what iPad related information is being drip fed to the British public.

The iPad models are expected to cost around 25 percent more in the UK compared to their US prices but we expect mobile networks to offer subsidised offers for the iPad in order to drive up demand.

O2 will offer price plans for UK customers while Orange will cater for France, Spain and Switzerland in addition while Vodafone will cover Australia, Germany, Italy and Spain.

UK appears therefore to be the only territory where the iPad will be offered by three different providers. It is also likely that independent retailers like Carphone Warehouse or Phones4U will also offer the iPad.

The announcement also means that we will have simultaneous launches of the six 3G and non-3G models in the UK and in other territories. It is also worth noting that data plans and hardware are sold separately in the US.

Our Comments

There's no coincidence here. Apple possibly threw a bone to those waiting for the iPad to chew on and distract us from the fact that the iPad will not be with us until the end of May 2010.

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