Telstra won’t sell the iPad — just iPad plans


The nation’s biggest telco Telstra has confirmed it won’t directly sell the iPad when it launched in Australia on 28 May — but it will offer pre-paid mobile broadband plans designed specifically for Apple’s iconic tablet device.

A Telstra spokesperson confirmed the big T wouldn’t offer the iPad, after the telco issued a statement detailing its pre-paid mobile plans. Late on Friday night, Apple revealed it would start taking online Australian iPad pre-orders tomorrow (Monday 10 May) in preparation for its Australian launch day of 28 May.

Apple said the iPad would be sold through its own retail outlets as well as its Australian website select Apple Authorised Resellers.

Telstra will offer a pre-paid SIM card specifically for the iPad for $30, which will include 1GB of data, with a further bonus of 2GB of data for customers that activate their Telstra iPad SIM by 30 June. The company noted the iPad could operate on the same 850MHz band as Telstra’s Next G network.

“Telstra’s pricing for iPad 3G gives customers control and flexibility to access the Internet on-the-go while connected to the Telstra Next GTM network,” said Ross Fielding, executive director, Telstra Mobility Products. “Telstra is providing Australians the ability to enjoy 3G on iPad in more places than on any other network.”

Neither Optus nor VHA (which operates the 3 and Vodafone brands) have yet revealed whether they will offer the iPad in Australia, although both are planning to offer customised iPad plans as Telstra is.

Apple said on Friday that the iPad models without 3G mobile access will sell in Australia for a recommended retail price in Australian dollars and including GST of $629, $759 and $879 for the models with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage space respectively. The 3G models will go for $799, $928 and $1049 for the models with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage space respectively.

Image credit: Delimiter screenshot of Telstra email


  1. Wait…what? When did Telstra start offering reasonable pricing on their NextG network? I’m a little shocked. Surely they’ve forgotten to either add another zero onto the price for have mistakingly used Gb instead of Mb in the data allowances.

    • I know, I know, it’s crazy!!! I will point out, though, that the prices are still not that cheap — essentially you’re paying $20 a month for 1GB of data. Which to my mind is …. pretty shite.

      • True. But, if I were interested in getting an iPad, 1Gb would probably do me. Between work, home and uni there’s not a lot of places I go that don’t have wi-fi. Plus, I have little interest in looking at YouTube videos of cats on skateboards.

        But that’s just me.

      • The $10 GB at the lower price point ($30 recharge) is an extremly good deal. Even when compared to optus/vodafone and thier resellers – not many are even at that price.

        To get Telstra coverage for $10 per GB and with no contract for a $30 monthly minimum, thats an incredible deal in todays market.

        Can these plans/sims be used in other devices?

        • Hmm don’t the iPads use microSIMs? That could cause a problem if using with other devices, I guess, although I am also guessing there is some kind of add-on card which would convert them into a normal SIM card. And of course probably there are also some phones and devices which take microSIMs these days.

          • They do, and not much else (if anything) uses Micro-SIM, other then the next iPhone.

            You are right about adapters- you can turn a microSIM into a normal sim with a cheap adapter, and you can turn a normal sim into a microSIM with a sharp knife :)

          • Ah, the sharp knife. The ubiquitous human tool :) The same tool I used the other day to insert a nice cable-sized hole into the back of my TV cabinet :)

  2. What is *really* irritating though, is having to pay for a separate plan altogether. I already have a data plan for my phone, why can’t I just share that across any 3G device I have?

  3. I’ve been hassling people in the telcos for some time about access plans combining mobile and fixed data; an “I need 20Gb/month across all my devices” or some such.

    I’m aware that this has been considered more than once, but nobody had had the stones to make it happen. If they did, and did it on a decent network, they’d get my dollar.

    That said, I doubt I’ll often be anywhere that has no wifi, so I’m pretty certain that a wifi-only iPad would be what I’d buy (if I buy one at all).

    • One of the problems is likely to be that telcos think of things in terms of single connections (broadband, mobile separate etc) because that’s the way their billing systems have always been set up. Once you start setting up bundles with one data charge set against one account with multiple services instead of one connection, that’s when you start to come up against hassles in the billing systems.

      There is also the fact that it’s hard for the telcos to get around billing for a single connection when they’re so used to buying it wholesale as one connection etc.

      Not saying all of this is justifiable — just that they are stuck in this mindset.

      As for this:

      “I doubt I’ll often be anywhere that has no wifi”

      Are you kidding? What about conferences where the Wi-Fi constantly drops out due to overuse?

  4. You can get combined data pricing ober multiple devices but only on business plans with higher minimum spends designed for more then 2 services (it only really becomes cost effective with a few devices). Vodafone, Three & Telstra all have these shared plans- Vodafone’s are called Shared Business Caps.

    • Yeah, anything labelled “business” gets slapped with a higher upfront cost no matter what kind of service is provided :) But it does start to become cost-effective after a few seats are added.

    • True, but it’s not retail targeted, it’s only mobile devices, and frankly the shared caps are execrable in terms of value for money when you look at data and voice/text services. They’re demonstrably *not* aimed at smart devices.

      What I want is *a single pick and mix plan* with something like a combination of 3-5Gb for mobile data across several devices (laptop, netbook, 2-3 smart phones, iPad), another 40Gb or so of fixed location data on-peak, 50-100Gb off peak, $400 of calls across mobile and land lines, texts in there somewhere, line rental and mobile hand set if I wanted it.

      It couldn’t be that hard to do the bundling.

      Doing the math on current plans, that looks like:

      – mobile data – $30/month
      – fixed data – $70/month
      – mobile smart phone – $70/month
      – fixed line plus calls – $60/month

      Bundle to reduce overheads and I reckon it could be offered at $150 or so per month.

      • I suspect you’re going to have to wait for the NBN to see this kind of innovation — at that stage fibre backhaul to cell towers starts to make a lot of things a lot cheaper, and the mobile networks should have become a bit more commoditised because of their age.

  5. It is iniquitous that Telstra will force their normal pre-paid broadband users to effectively subsidise ipad users. $30 per month buys 0.4 MB for normal users and 3.0 MB for ipad users; i.e. Normal users will pay 7.5 times the fee that ipad users will pay !!! What can Telstra be thinking?

Comments are closed.