Consumers shun subsidised iPads

Mobile operators in the UK had high hopes that offering subsidised iPads in the pre-Christmas sales period would prove especially attractive to consumers. If rumours are to be believed, then these hopes have been dashed as it seems Orange UK is thought to have only sold around 1,000 iPads tied to airtime contracts.

When the offer was originally announced in early December, Orange UK trumpeted that it expected to sell 'tens of thousands' of iPad tablets over the Christmas period. The company's parent, Everything Everywhere, issued high-profile announcements that its strategy was to become 'the home of the tablet' after launching Apple's iPad device for £199 on a 24 month contract.

While Orange has not confirmed the level of iPad sales achieved--and neither has T-Mobile or 3UK, industry sources claim that only around 1,000 of the tablets were sold by Orange during the first week of availability. The operator has stated that sales are growing, but has not yet denied the low numbers quoted.

Orange said: 'As expected, our iPad sales have grown significantly week-on-week in the run up to Christmas as awareness that we were offering the product increased, and it remains one of the key devices in our portfolio for the seasonal period'.

This apparent lack of interest in subsidised iPads--if the sales data is correct--could be due to consumers being reluctant to subscribe to another long-term £25-a-month deal in addition to monthly broadband and mobile handset contracts.

Ongoing rumours that Apple will release a revised version of the iPad within the next few months could be another factor in causing consumers to delay their decision.

For more:
- see this Mobile Today article

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