How to buy a cheap iPad

the buyer's guide to the cheapest way to get an iPad

New iPads for everyone

October 2012 brought with it a brand new range of iPads, meaning anyone looking to buy an iPad now has more choice than ever.

The biggest (or should that be smallest) announcement made in iPad world in 2012 was the iPad Mini, a smaller handheld version of the iPad. Not only is it cheaper in price, it’s also more portable and allows those who have a lot of apps, movies and music in the iTunes ecosystem to gain the same advantages users of the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD have enjoyed for a while now.

The flagship iPad has also been updated. Now with a dual-core A6X chip with quad-core graphics, the iPad is now faster than ever, has full support for 3G and Cellular LTE connectivity where available, and a stunining Retina Display that is sharper and with better colors than ever before.

Finally, if you’ve been wanting an iPad but don’t necessarily need the latest model or find them a little too pricey, then the iPad 2 is now cheaper than ever and still offers all the great functionality the iPad has always enjoyed, including hundreds of thousands of apps.

Whatever your iPad needs, now more than ever, who knows, you might even bet tempted to buy all three!

iPad Price War To Start Before Christmas?

There are strong rumours brewing today that UK users wanting to get their hands on a cheap iPad 3G will be very pleased at some of the new prices to be announced in the next couple of weeks, averaging out at just £26 a month, including all data costs.

Previously all iPad prices have been pretty much the same, with the cheapest 3G iPad being £529 with additional data services on top, which with O2 range from £2 a day pay-as-you-use to a £15 for 30 days use tariff.

Things look set to change however thanks to the Everything Everywhere network. What’s that, I hear you ask? It’s the new ’super network’ that has been made by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile. The idea is that by merging the two, reception is even better over a wider area, giving a clear technical advantage to going with them over the likes of O2.

O2 has in the past had many technical problems stemming from being the exclusive iPhone network for so long, including many dropped calls or reception dying completely in areas where the signal should be strong, presumably due to the large amount of data traffic hogging the network. This problem has lessened as restrictions on data usage have increased and other networks have been allowed to sell the iPhone, but it’s still a big concern for the phone networks.

By pooling resources, Orange and T-Mobile don’t have to worry about having the capacity for lots of data transfer, as a network that is essentially twice the size of a regular one can easily support that.

With that in mind, it’s clear they’ve decided to very aggressively go after Apple customers and tempt them away from O2 (still seen as the primary choice for iPhones, and by extension iPads). The first salvo in this war appears to be the announcement of a dramatic iPad price reduction.

Current rumours say that instead of paying £529 for the base iPad, Orange and T-Mobile are subsidising the devices (presumably as a loss-leader) so that customers will now pay just £200 for the iPad. The only catch is that they will be required to sign up for £15 a month data plans on an 18-month contract. Given that anyone wanting to use an iPad’s 3G functionality has to pay for it, this is still a great deal.

Over the course of the 18 months this means the user will pay a total of £270 for data plus £200 for the iPad which makes a total cost of £470, a saving of £59 over buying one from Apple, and that’s without data costs. So it’s good news all round for those looking for cheap iPads.

While there can be big price differences for iPad accessories and rival computers (such as netbooks), mainly due to the abundance of discount codes and vouchers offered by the larger retailers, the iPad itself has in contrast seen little price difference due to Apple’s fixed price points.

So naturally news of this price cut does make one wonder if Apple is happy about the situation, which leads us at to suspect that a more general iPad price cut could be on the way before Christmas. We can surely expect a new model iPad sometime in the new year, now would seem to be the perfect time for a price cut to make sure anyone holding out for a new version decides to jump in after all.

Over 2 Million iPads Sold In Two Months!

Across the world the launch of the iPad has been a huge success with Steve Jobs reporting at the iPhone 4 launch that over 2 million had already been sold.

Early iPad users have been discovering new ways to work, play and entertain themselves with the neat little device that threatens to change portable computing forever.

The UK launch hit a bit of a snag with manufacturing delays that meant it didn’t launch on time, but given the stock issues Apple faced they still managed to sell over 2 million globally in a very short space of time. There’s no doubt that as iPad availability increases, and more and more unique apps for the iPad arrive, it won’t be long before we’ll be seeing iPads everywhere.

Those who have struggled to find stocks of iPads should be able to get one fairly easily now, as thousands of iPads are being shipped from factories every day. An iPad is a great purchase, so if you’ve been waiting for the inital rush to die down, now is the perfect time to jump in. Make sure you check out our guide to the cheapest way to get an iPad and look out for any iPad discount codes before you rush out and get one, to ensure you get the most bang for your buck when buying your iPod.

The iPad Is Here!

So it’s finally here. The iPad launched in stores across the USA on Saturday 3rd April and in many places sold out within hours. In some areas people queued overnight to be one of the first to own one, and they weren’t disappointed.

With over 3000 iPad specific applications to download at launch, the lucky few who got their hands on a new iPad were soon enjoying the new way of computing that Apple’s latest offering provides them, and the future can only get brighter for Apple’s most anticipated product in years.

Dedicated Apple fans seem to already be in love with the device, claiming it’s perfect for surfing the web and consuming media. Even technology journalists and reviewers, who traditionally might be a bit more skeptical of company hype, have given the iPad rave reviews across the board.

The positive word of mouth seems to be paying off, with signs that Apple have sold hundreds of thousands of iPads on the first day. If sales like this continue – and with a version of the iPad with extra 3G network support coming later in the month that’s very likely – then it won’t be long before the iPad will be everywhere.

Apple has finally unveiled the first round of apps available in the new iPad AppStore, and unsurprisingly there are some very exiciting early offerings, along with a few surprises that could prove to be real game changers.

The most obvious apps are those from the news and magazine companies. With the likes of Time, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today all rolliing out apps, those looking for a more high tech way of getting their daily newspaper are sure to be happy. It’s unsurprising really, given the dire financial situation of most print news organisations, that they’ve siezed upon the iPad as being their saviour.

Comics too is an area that has been suffering heavily in the print department while digital saves have grown constantly, so it’s no surprise that one of the coolest iPad apps comes from Marvel Comics, who are offering their own store where you can purchase hundreds of comics and read them through their very cool comics interface. The iPad’s size makes it a perfect comics reader, so expect hyper-cool versions of well known graphic novels to come along very shortly.

Like the iPhone, gaming is one area where the iPad can score an easy win, and whether it’s flight path games, puzzlers or tapping music games, many iPhone classics will be getting a big size upgrade, and new games which can only work on a larger format are bound to follow soon.

Lots of websites have made themselves into apps for the iPad. The Internet Movie Database, IMDB, has a great app for getting film information on the go, BBC News has iPadded it’s website, and for those who want business information there are no shortage of apps aggregating stock prices.

Finally sports fans seem to be especially well served, with apps from ESPN and other sporting organisations giving real time stats updates, video and even virtual simulations of big games. Sports could definitely be one area where the iPad really wins big.

So as the iPad finally hits the shelves there are some pretty enticing and impressive apps around, with the promise of some real game changers coming soon. Some are just iPhone upgrades, some just website’s wrapped up in a glossy cover, but some of them – the sports and comics apps especially – show real promise, and a sign that we’ve barely scratched the surface of all the cool things the iPad will be offering soon.

iPad Anticipation Reaching Fever Pitch

At the launch of the Apple iPad Steve Jobs told the crowd that the non-3G version would arrive sometime in March. At the time of writing there are likely to be only a few days left before the iPad goes on sale and a sense of anticipation is building in the tech community almost as strong as there was before the launch, when many wild claims and predictions were made about what Apple was to unveil.

Mac fans are sure to be the first in line to buy the iPad, and were always going to be loyal fans, but even those who have dismissed the device as being a baby’s toy with little practical application are sure to at least venture to an Apple Store to try one out. The slick graphics, fast processor and speed with which the iPad looks to operate is bound to persuade anyone with a few hundred dollars to spare that it’s worth a buy.

Rumours are already circulating that Apple is having manufacturing problems that will lead to delays in the iPad reaching the shelves. Call me cynical but I think this is the same leaking at work that said the iPad would retail for $999, a leak that only served to make the price seem that bit more appealing when it was revealed to be much lower. I’m pretty sure the leak about Apple only releasing a limited amount of iPads is designed to ensure they get the pictures of long lines of people queuing to get one in the fear they may miss out. Rumours of manufacturing issues simply make the iPad even more sought after, and a must have for anyone who wants to be seen.

Jobs has turned something as dull as computers into fashion accessories, and it’s clear that most people chomping at the bit to get an iPad before anyone else aren’t doing so because they’re desperate to read a new novel or make some notes, but because they want to claim bragging rights over their friends. Whether it be due to manufacturing delays or the cost being too much for many people to shell out for immediately, the iPad is – just as iPhones used to – likely to draw attention in a crowd for some time yet, and anyone who owns one will certainly be the most popular person at a party.

The Impact Of The iPad

The iPadSince the iPad launched the internet has been full of speculation about how useful the device will be, who will use it most, and who the target audience is. At this stage it’s probably too early to tell, and it will be interesting to see how iPad adoption spreads over the course of 2010, but we can already make some predictions.

The iPad is simple to use. Big buttons, big bezel, this is a computer designed not to attract geeks but to not put off non-geeks. By paring features right down but boosting the performance immeasurably with the A4 custom chip, you have a computer that the elderly, the disabled and the very young can grasp fairly easily, potentially doing for home computing what the Wii did for gaming in terms of bringing in new audiences.

Businesses too could really benefit from iPads. iPad apps will allow all sorts of new possibilities. Conference speakers can read their notes and control their presentations, hotel and restaurant concierges will be able to check table and room availability while on the move, and business meetings can be expedited with the notepad feature that records all notes, avoiding the need for reams of paper and saving thousands of trees can be saved each year.

The medical sector already uses pad type devices in many areas but smaller doctors surgeries and clinics which have no need for overly complex devices are likely to embrace the iPad as a quick way to make notes or check patient records.

The education sector is bound to jump on the iPad in a big way. At first it will only be one per school, as with the arrival of desktop computers in the 1980s, and this iPad will be passed from kid to kid, as everyone tries their hand at solving a language puzzle or a mathematical equation. Clusters of kids will gather round an iPad laid flat on a table, with everyone getting a good view, and sooner or later all the kids will have them. Easy to control, difficult to break, and light on spam and spyware, the iPad educational market could potentially be huge.

But that still leaves the vast majority of consumers with disposable income, who just want something cool. So what’s in the iPad for them?

It hasn’t been mentioned much in the online debate so far, but I think the strongest killer app the iPad enjoys is simply that unlike a notebook, laptop or desktop, it provides a fairly comprehensive computing experience without needing a desk. It’s a true ‘laptop’ in that you can operate standing up, without having to balance the computer on your palm like an overloaded waiter’s food trays, or you can sit in an armchair and rest it on the arm or your knee. Try doing that with a laptop or notebook and the thing will soon go crashing to the floor.

The iPhone has been a huge success because people don’t feel like they’re using a computer, but something else entirely. iPhone users will frequently sit on sofas while their friends and family watch TV, using apps and updating their social network statuses in a way they never would if they had to get up and sit down at a desk. The iPhone has become a relaxing form of computing where you can be slouched in a chair with no effort to use it, or standing in a crowded train, or the supermarket queue. The only problem of course is the small size limits what can be done.

And that’s the problem the iPad solves. It’s been said that the iPad is no big deal because it’s just a big iPod, but that’s exactly the point. It lets you play games better, read books – something impossible on an iPod or iPhone screen size, it lets you look at new forms of online magazines and comics, while still doing most things your iPhone can, and lets you easily show your friends and family what you’re up to at the same time.

The more people use iPads, the more they’ll think of them not as something to do work on, or a replacement for their desktop, but as an alternative. Sure the desktop is great for real work, or for heavy gaming, or for surfing Flash sites, but if I just want to read the news, check my messages or update my status, why should I leave the sofa while my favourite shows are on?

When TV remotes were introduced people scoffed. Why make something that will only make people lazy? But once people are sitting down and with their family they don’t want to have to go to another room or get up to check their email any more than they wanted to get up to change a channel on the TV. The iPad is to desktops what the remote is to the TV. Sure it doesn’t do everything the desktop does, but it does most of the things you’ll want to do when you can’t be bothered to go to the desktop, and that’s why in the long run it’s sure to do incredibly well.