Having promised to sell the iPad 2 on contract earlier this month, Vodafone has released pricing today, one day before it apparently begins selling the devices. We haven't seen the iPad 2 on any contract offers in Australia before, but will that payment flexibility be enough to overcome well-established cynicism in the market about Vodafone's actual 3G network? We've got a full Planhacker table of prices to help you decide.
Vodafone is offering only the 16GB and 64GB Wi-Fi+3G models, but there's an almost bewildering array of options. So as ever, we've turned to a table to outline them. (You can click on column headers to sort and filter for particular options.)
As usual, a 12-month contract ties you down for less but costs you more for data, since Vodafone has less time to claw back hardware cost (which also accounts for the up-front charge). The 24-month option on the 16GB model is close in price to the 12-month deal, for instance. Presuming you have access to Wi-Fi as well, we suspect you'd be hard-pressed to use more than 12GB a month in either scneario.
Aside from the contract options, there's also outright buy packages for prepaid users, which include 1.5GB of data with a 30 day expiry: $745 for the 16GB model and $947 for the 64GB model. Apple itself sells those models for $729 and $949, while Vodafone sells its prepaid starter kit for $14.95. That makes the 16GB model the same price regardless, while in the 64GB deal you essentially get the SIM for free. Overall, though, it's less appealing than simply buying them separately, especially if the iPad 2 from Vodafone itself is network-locked, which seems likely.
A final note: Vodafone's press release says sales start on October 1, but its site says October 5. The offer also won't be available in every store; you'll need to find suitable locations via the site. Does a contract iPad tempt you, or would you rather get one outright (or from another provider)?