The iPad Air 2 went on sale today online and in-store from Telstra and Optus, and in-store only from Vodafone. If you’re after a 4G-capable version of the new tablet, then there are a range of plans from each carrier open to you.
We’ll run through the prices using the 16GB version as a staple so that you can get the gist of plan inclusions and pricing, as well as how the carriers compare. Keep in mind that if you want the 64GB or 128GB models then the monthly handset repayment cost will be higher.
From Telstra iPad Air 2 plans start at $51 per month. That's the Small $25 mobile broadband plan plus $26 for the tablet. This price gets you 1GB of data for the month. Over the life of the plan it works out to a minimum of $1224.
You probably want a bit more data than that, though. The Medium plan is a bit more at $60 per month ($35 for the plan and $25 for the iPad), but gives you a much more respectable 4GB of data. 24 month minimum spend is $1440.
Data inclusions go right up to 15GB for $121 per month, which is the $150 XL plan plus $16 for the tab. Minimum contract spend is $2904.
There are also mobile data packs for boosting that data if you think 15GB is just not enough.
Another option is that Telstra offers data sharing on its Mobile Accelerate phone plans. Data sharing lets you use your phone plan’s data across multiple devices, although you’d still need to pay for the iPad Air 2 yourself. Data sharing is an added cost of $10 per month per device for your phone bill, and you can’t add it part-way through a contract. Over-use fees still apply.
All Optus My Mobile Broadband plans do not charge per MB for over-use of data. Instead, just like Optus post-paid phone plans, if you go over your monthly data allotment all that happens is you pay $10 and an extra 1GB is added to your plan until the end of the month. This can happen as many times as you like. After the month is over, your plan reverts back to its original payment amount and data inclusion, at which point you can do it all again if the mood takes you.
Starting at $47, which is the $20 My Mobile Broadband plan + $27 for the tablet, you’ll get 1.5GB. Minimum contract spend is $1128.
$57 per month ($30 plan + $27 for the iPad) will get you 4GB, which is better value than going with the cheaper plan if you think you’re going to go over the smaller data limit every month and incur that $10 for 1GB charge. Total minimum cost is $1368.
The big plan this time is the $87 option, which is the $60 plan with again $27 for the tablet. This will get you 10GB per month and run you at least $2088 over 24 months.
Like Telstra, Optus gives you the option of sharing your mobile phone’s data cap with other devices. Unlike Telstra, Optus will only charge you a one-off fee of $5. That SIM is connected to your plan and can be used in any compatible device. There are no recurring monthly fees and no added contractual obligations. That means Optus’ data sharing option for a single SIM comes to just under 2.1% the cost of Telstra’s data sharing scheme over a period of 24 months.
Right now Voda is only selling the iPad Air 2 on plans in-store only, but you’ll be able to pick it up online from October 28.
Your first option with Vodafone is $51 per month for 2.5GB, which is the $20 plan with $31 each month for the iPad. That’s only $4 more each bill than the 1.5GB Optus option, yet you get a full 1GB more. The minimum total cost of this plan is $1224 over 2 years.
Jump up to 4GB and you’ll pay $57, or $30 for the plan and $27 for the tab. This is identical to what Optus is asking for the same price. Minimum 24 month cost is $1368.
Lastly, if you want big data, then you can get a whopping 25GB for $110 per month ($90 plan + $20 for the iPad). That’s a huge amount of data compared to what the max offerings from Optus and Telstra are. It’s also 10GB more than Telstra’s biggest plan for $11 less each month. Minimum 24 month cost is $2640.