The nation’s number two telco Optus has revealed a refresh of its iPad plans in preparation for this afternoon’s 5PM Australian launch of the second version of Apple’s flagship tablet.
The company offers both pre-paid and post-paid monthly plans for the iPad 2, with pre-paid options ranging from a $15 recharge cost for up to 300MB of data to a $130 option including 15GB of data (see the complete plan list here).
The changes to Optus’ pre-paid plans have been broadly minor for the iPad 2, but significant in some areas. For example, customers who buy a $130 recharge will now have 12 months to use the 15GB of data which comes includes included – instead of the mere 60 days previously allowed when the first iPad launched (see Optus’ previous iPad prices here).
Time limits for data usage have been extended across the board, with recharge packs from $70 and above now valid for at least three months, but usually six months or more. Some of the smaller recharge packs have had their time limit extended to 30 or 60 days.
However, Optus has also slightly reduced the monthly data quota on some of its iPad recharge packs — for example, the $100 pack, which bought you 12GB when the first iPad launched (plus a 1GB bonus at the time) will now only get you 10GB. The $70 pack has similarly been reduced by 2GB. Optus’s post-paid monthly iPad 2 plans have remained broadly the same, although customers will now get a little extra data on the $30 monthly plan.
The company has also published a list of iPad 2 plans focused on business, ranging from $24.95 per month with 2GB of included data to $84.95 per month with 16GB of data. The plans are all month to month — they do not require a minimum contract length — and all feature no upfront cost. You can also bundle an Optus mobile plan with these iPad 2 plans and pick up a $5 discount.
In addition, Optus is also temporarily offering a zero-cost ($0) SIM card starter kit to customers through some stories — including Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, Apple, David Jones and Myer, with 500MB of quota included and a 20 day time limit on the data usage. Normally the company’s pre-paid SIM starter kit for the iPad costs $30 and comes with 3GB of quota and a 30 day data expiry.
Optus has also unveiled several other ‘Business Mobile Broadband Ultimate’ plans, which allow customers to share their data quota at an account level between their mobile phones and mobile broadband services (for example, the iPad). The plans range from $24.95 per month (with 1GB of data) to $49.95 per month with 8GB of data.
Neither Telstra nor Vodafone has announced a revamp of their plans for the iPad 2, although Telstra has specifically stated the company’s current iPad plans can be used with the new Apple tablet.
In a statement published yesterday, analyst firm IDC said it expected the Australian market for tablets like the iPad to grow by 85 percent in the 2011 calendar year — with Apple dominating the field, despite the entrance of competitive products such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. “Although more competing devices will be launched this year, IDC expects Apple to maintain a 70-80 percent share of the worldwide market and continue to dominate the Australian market,” the company said.
Optus’ prepaid iPad 2 plan prices are listed below. The ‘up to’ phrasing on the data quotas refers to the fact that the company charges data downloads in 10MB increments and includes both uploads and downloads. Optus charges the first 30MB per day that customers use as 10MB, however.
Image credit: Apple