Mobile operators O2, Orange and Vodafone yesterday announced they will offer dedicated price plans for the iPad, just as Apple was telling the world that the international launch of the device had slipped to the end of May. All three operators will offer all models (3G and WiFi-only): Vodafone will offer the device in Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK; Orange will initially support the device in France, Spain, Switzerland and the UK; whilst O2 will only √ź¬≤√ź‚Äö√Ę‚ā¨Ňď at this stage √ź¬≤√ź‚Äö√Ę‚ā¨Ňď offer the device in the UK. Canadian operator Rogers is also reported to be offering the device. More operator announcements are expected soon.
Apple plans to announce international pricing details and begin taking online pre-orders for the iPad on Monday, May 10. Press reports note that Orange, O2 and Vodafone all issued very similar statements, suggesting that Apple may be keeping a close eye on what iPad information is released worldwide.√ź‚Äô√ā¬†Indeed, reports today claim that the device will not initially be sold through operator retail stores and will therefore not be subsidised. Consumers will reportedly need to buy the full price 3G-enabled iPad through Apple, and buy the data plans separately. Mobile Today notes that this could change after the initial launch period, with the device eventually subsidised and sold through direct operator retailers as well as distributors. International sales accounted for 58 percent of Apple's revenue in the December quarter, up from 46 percent a year earlier. The iPad's early US sales impressed analysts, many of whom expect roughly 5 million in 2010, though estimates vary widely. Analyst Shannon Cross at Cross Research on Wednesday raised her iPad sales estimate in the quarter to 2.25 million iPads from 1.5 million, and boosted her price target for Apple shares to US$315 from US$310. Certainly, Apple has much riding on the success of the 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet, billed as a cross between a smartphone and a laptop. The tablet computer market is expected to grow to as many as 50 million units by 2014, according to analysts.
- There are no comments yet