As usual, when the iPad was announced in the US, we Europeans had to sit tight and hope that the gap between availability wouldn’t be too great. As it turns out, we’re still waiting to find out exactly when we’re going to get the device but, for a change, that might not be such a bad thing.
An interesting story has cropped up which indicates that the iPad will be offered, in Europe, with some very attractive subsidies. Hutchinson Austria (Commonly known as 3) is reportedly going to be selling 3G iPads with a two-year contract with a subsidy of up to €333.
We have no reason to doubt this story and can quite easily see O2 doing something very similar, here in the UK. Of course it would be even better news if Vodafone and Orange also had the iPad and were offering a subsidy, but we can just as easily see that one company will want exclusivity for at least 12 months, if not longer.
The lack of any formal European pricing on the Apple website is a key indication that we may see a number of different deals in the UK and across Europe.
Lets hope that it’s the consumer that wins out in the end and not the mobile phone companies. I personally could easily be swayed by a heavily discounted iPad, but I would still be hesitant to take out yet another 12 or 24 month contract. Instead, I would prefer to tether my iPad through my iPhone on the odd occasion I needed to use it outside of a WiFi signal.
I guess, as usual, we’ll have to wait and see.