Major telcos jump on board iPad with price plans

But only Optus reveals anything about the Micro-SIMs required for the 3G version

Australian telcos Optus, Telstra, Vodafone Australia and 3 Mobile will all offer plans for the Apple iPad when it is officially released in Australia at the end of May.

Though initially slated for local release at the end of this month, Apple delayed the launch due to strong demand in the US.

“Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad,” a written statement from Apple said.

Since launch, the iPad has been plagued with concerns about problems with the device's wireless connection, with users complaining of weak connections and an inability to reconnect to remembered wireless networks. Apple has acknowledged the issue and offered a quick fix to users, but has not released a firmware update yet to solve the issue.

The manufacturer of the iPad, Foxconn Electronics, was believed to have supplied 1.6 million devices to Apple during March and April. However, since Apple sold 500,000 of those devices in the first week of availability in the US, it is believed that not enough devices were launched to meet demand.

Apple will reveal international pricing and will take pre-orders for the iPad on its website from 10 May. Both the Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the tablet device will be available at launch.

In separate statements following the release of the Apple press release, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and 3 Mobile all announced that they would offer mobile data plans for the iPad on launch. Both the statements from Telstra and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (who runs both Vodafone Australia and 3 Mobile networks), are identical in wording.

"Optus today confirmed it will offer plans for all 3G-enabled iPad models from the end of May," a spokesperson for Optus told Computerworld Australia in an email.

Optus has been the only Australian telco to make any mention of micro-SIMs; the miniature SIM cards required to use the iPad's 3G connection. The telco has previously stated it was trialling using the relatively new card. When asked about the SIM cards today, a spokesperson for Optus said the telco was "still testing Micro SIMs for use on our network and are confident we will be ready when compatible devices become available".

A Telstra spokesperson declined to comment on whether the telco had trialled micro-SIMs as yet, but said that the company would meet the iPad's requirements.

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