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back to article Orange teases with cut-price iPad offer

Orange and T-Mobile are to discount the iPad to just 200 quid, it has been claimed. The quid pro quo, says London business freesheet City AM, which made the claim, is signing up for an 18-month or two-year contract. Orange has just posted the following promo: Orange iPad The network told Reg Hardware: "Orange... will offer …

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I doubt they will be locked

>What can we draw from all this? Orange and T-Mobile will offer heavily

>subsidised but locked 3G iPads in the coming weeks.

There is no need to network lock a handset or other device if you provide it on contract, as the customer has signed a contract of however many months and has in effect committed to pay for it in installments. The handset subsidy is safe because of the contract, not the lock. It is pretty common to get a phone on contract and find it is unlocked, particularly if the carrier is O2 and/or the phone is sold through a third party dealer like Carphone Warehouse of Phones 4 U. Two of my three latest contract phones have come unlocked.

Apple doesn't seem very keen on the idea of locking iPads: I believe that all iPads sold so far have been unlocked, and I doubt Apple will change. Apple seems to be cooling on the idea of locked iPhones for that matter, too, as they have been becoming available unlocked in more and more markets.

I suspect that T-Mobile/Orange will simply be obtaining the same unlocked iPads as everyone else through more or less the same channels as anyone else, and then bundling them with a contract.

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Absolutely

I'd guess that this is the same as all the operators that'll give a free XBox, PS3, television or whatever. The calculation is that they'll still make a profit (probably on an individual basis, definitely over the whole group) even if you cancel in very short order.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought

That the GSM spec explicitly required a removable sim?

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Stop

Question

Is the iPad bound by the same rules though? It's not a voice device, so is it still precluded from having an integrated SIM? TomTom Live and Amazon Kindle are examples of devices with SIM cards that are "not user accessible."

Also, integrated SIM != software SIM.

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Terminator

I thought iPad2 was just bullshit rumour

But then I remembered the Jobsian Way is to nob your purchasers, flip them over, and roger them again, unlubed.

Cheap iPads could be clearing stock for iPad2s that are about to enter the channel. And why would you warn punters that they're about to buy a legacy device? Shift 'em then shaft 'em.

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Apple always support at least the current and previous generation device

So I'd suggest your definition of a legacy device is someone excessive. At any point that you buy an iOS device, you're guaranteed at least a year of software support from Apple — which is a year more than 99% of other phone manufacturers. Though it's difficult to guess what the other tablet manufacturers will do.

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