Home Your Tech Mobility iPad mini: 4G/LTE/GPS version on sale in Australia at last!

iPad mini: 4G/LTE/GPS version on sale in Australia at last!

Arriving as expected on the last day of November, Australians are finally able to buy an iPad mini complete with 4G/LTE/Wi-Fi/GPS from Apple stores, or via Australia’s three major telcos Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

Apple’s market-beating and market leading super tablet, the iPad, is not only still doing super well the world over, but has finally arrived in a brand new version in Australia.

That version is the iPad mini, but this time, with the option of a nano SIM slot, and a comms chip that works on 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE bands, as well as offering GPS capabilities.

Cellular and GPS are the things missing from Wi-Fi only iPads and iPad minis, and while the iPad mini with 4G went on sale in the US earlier this month, it has finally landed in Australia.

This is despite reports online that Apple’s manufacturers are finding it more difficult to make Apple’s devices this cycle, including reported delays with enough supplies of the iPad mini’s screen, but despite the reports, the iPad mini has at least arrived on schedule.

However, because of the reported issues,it looks like supplies might, as per usual, be tight – at least in the short term as Apple’s suppliers continue churning out the parts needed to create the iDevices that most love (and some hate).

Both Telstra and Optus had press releases in my inbox today trumpeting the availability of the iPad mini in their stores, and while Vodafone announced its intention to sell the iPad mini a few weeks ago, and is one of the telcos with availability today, I didn’t see any announcements from them today – and any such announcement didn’t slip into my junk email folder, either.

Perhaps Vodafone wanted to keep things on the down low today following the reported heatwave-affected meltdown of its 3G network yesterday, something you’d have imagined a telco would have long ago prepared its network for – Australia can have some pretty harsh summer temperatures after all.

Still, Voda is Voda… while the company continues its multi-billion dollar transition to 3G+ technology (of the type Telstra was putting in a few years ago) with the belated rollout of its own 4G network still to come next year, I guess no-one really expects Vodafone to be stuff-up free just yet – not even its own customers.

So, what does an iPad mini with 4G and GPS cost to buy? Well, according to Apple’s own Aussie site, the 16GB iPad mini 4G costs AUD $509, the 32GB model sells for a tad more at AUD $619, while the 64GB model retails for AUD $729, with all models showing a 2 week shipping timeframe as I type.

Telcos, however, are the masters at selling technologies on a 24 month contract, complete with SIM card and month data allowance, letting you spread the cost over two years on Telstra, and over 12 or 24 month contracts with Optus and Vodafone.

As an example, Telstra’s cost for the 16GB iPad mini with 4G over 24 month is “$0 upfront”, with 4GB of data per month for $46 per month, for a total minimum cost of AUD $1104.

Telstra’s other iPad mini plans are available to see here.

The cheapest Optus plan sees an 4G iPad mini 16GB sell for $21.05 per month for the device a $19.95 per month for the 2GB data allowance, over 24 months, for a total minimum cost of AUD $984, while a plan with 5GB of data sees a payment of $24.95 per month for the data with the same $21.05 device for a total of $1104 over 24 months.

Optus iPad and iPad mini pricing can be seen here.

Vodafone's "most popular offer" for its 16GB iPad mini is a $19 per month plan for 2GB of data, with a $21 per month cost for the tablet, leading to a total cost over 24 months of $960.

Meanwhile, a payment of $29 per month for data gets you 6GB monthly data instead, which coupled with an $18 per month tablet payment will see a 24 month minimum cost of AUD $1128.

Here's Vodafone's site with all the iPad mini pricing details.

Yes, Telstra charges a bit more its data, but we all know why – its 4G network is up to scratch, giving Telstra the right to charge more for better data service, while letting its competitors compete on price – the only real alternative to someone else’s better service.

After all, you do get what you pay for, whether it’s choosing an iOS tablet over Android, or Telstra over its competitors, but that’s what the market is for and all about.

So, the iPad mini with Cellular and GPS has arrived in Australia at last, sure to set off the second stage of the iPad mini frenzy, and yet again, just in time for the retail sector’s most important four sales weeks of the year: the month of December!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.