How to buy a cheap iPad

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

iPad Buyer’s Guide – what’s the cheapest way to get an iPad?

UK iPad Buyer’s Guide
USA iPad Buyer’s Guide

iPads are now freely available across the UK from a wide variety of retailers. You can buy them online at the Apple Store and pay full price, or look for a better deal from other retailers (which also may offer in store collection and free delivery) such as PC World and Currys. Official Apple Reseller shops will also carry stocks if you’re having trouble finding them in the usual outlets.

Because Apple tightly controls its distribution methods, there isn’t a huge amount of room for retailers to offer differences on price, so the following price table should apply pretty much wherever you go.

One thing to look out for is delivery charges. All the main retailers should give free delivery when buying online but do look out for hidden delivery charges as sometimes two retailers can quote the same price but when delivery is factored in one may be cheaper than another.

Don’t forget to check out voucher code and discount websites such as to see if the shop you’re buying from has any money off deals or vouchers to make things a bit cheaper. Although it’s quite rare to offer discounts on the iPad itself, most people will buy accessories such as cases, carry bags and screen protectors, and often great bargains and discounts can be found on these which helps keep the cost down.

The iPad is an amazing, luxurious piece of equipment, and quality like that comes at a price. There are ways round the initial high price tag however. If you want something cheaper than an iPad that will still let you surf the internet with something bigger than a phone but that will still fit in your shoulder bag, you might want to invest in a netbook. Designed purely for surfing the web, these mini laptops cover much of the same ground as an iPad. Check out the great range from the likes of Mesh or PC World for great deals. Once again, don’t forget to look for voucher codes and discount coupons to save money if you’re buying from any of the above, as there’s always some great deals running to take advantage of that you might not be immediately aware of.

If you have your heart set on an iPad Mini but can’t afford it, have a look at the Nexus devices from Google and the Kindle Fire from Amazon. These provide similar functionality for a much lower price.

If you do fancy splashing out on a lovely new iPad, and we can’t say we blame you, then you’ll need to decide which model to buy.

The iPad comes in three distinct flavours, the iPad with Retina Display, the iPad Mini, and the iPad 2. What’s the difference? The iPad with Retina Display is the latest and greatest iPad with stunning resolution and a lighter, thinner feel. The iPad Mini is a smaller version designed for even greater portability, and the iPad 2 is the second generation iPad, now at a lower than ever price, for the cost-conscious consumer. They also come in two versions, WiFi and WiFi + 3G/Cellular. The latter lets you get data from 3G, cellular or LTE mobile phone networks where available.

Unfortunately, due to the iPad requiring a special type of SIM card known as a nano-SIM (micro-SIM on iPad 2), you can’t use your regular phone’s data plan with an iPad so you’ll need to sign up for Cellular access with a cellphone provider. For the WiFi only version, you don’t need to pay any more than the iPad purchase price.

The good thing about iPad contracts is they usually only have a one month minimum term so you can cancel anytime without being tied in to anything long-term.

All the major networks in the UK offer competitive data rates for iPad usage, so get in touch with your network today and see what they can offer you. Check out the following for some great deals:

Tesco Mobile Phone Shop

Three Mobile

O2 Mobiles

Leave a Reply