The best Apple iPad Air 2 plans: Vodafone v Telstra v Optus

Calculating the best value, cheapest and most generous data plans available in Australia

Apple’s second generation iPad Air and third-gen iPad Mini have gone on sale at Vodafone, Telstra and Optus. Good Gear Guide has crunched the numbers on the plans from Australia’s three largest telcos to find out which offers the best deals.

Please note, Apple offers three storage capacities for both the iPad Air 2 and Mini 3, with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB available. Good Gear Guide is comparing the pricing for the 64GB cellular models of the iPad Air 2 over 24 month contracts.

Read our first impressions of the Apple iPad Air 2

Optus has yet to announce its iPad Mini 3 pricing. We will link this article to a comparison dedicated solely to the smaller iPad.

Who has the cheapest iPad plan?

Apple loyalists looking for the downright cheapest plan should head into Optus, where they can walk out of store with a spiffy 64GB iPad from just $41 a month. Be warned though, the low-cost Optus plan comes with but 100MB of data per month. The odds are most people will end up exceeding their allowance and end up paying more in extra charges.

The next bottom dollar plans are from Vodafone and Telstra, which both offer the same specced iPad Air 2 for a total monthly cost of $55.

Telstra’s $55 offering will come with 1GB of data for use on its premium Next G network.

Giving Telstra’s plan a run for its money is Vodafone’s, which will offer more than double at 2.5GB for the same price.

The ongoing investment in Vodafone’s network has improved its reliability and data speeds. And imagine everything you can do with 2.5GB every month.

Winner: Vodafone

Who has the best value for money plan?

Finding out how far you can stretch your dollar requires a little maths. We factored in the total per month cost of two hero plans from each telco and calculated how much you will be spending on every megabyte of data.

Read more: Changes coming to Aldi Mobile plans and network

The price of the iPad was factored into these calculations as the aim is to determine the value of each dollar you will pay, and you will be paying for that shiny new iPad.

4GB plans from Telstra, Vodafone and Optus with the 64GB iPad Air 2

• Optus charges a total of $61 per month on this plan, with the cost of each megabyte costing $0.0148.
• Telstra charges $64 per month with each megabyte costing $0.0156.
• Vodafone charges $65 per month with each megabyte costing $0.0158.

Crunching numbers is a simple way to identify a clear winner. For 4GB, the winner is Optus.

Winner: Optus

8GB plans from Telstra and Vodafone, compared to Optus’ 7GB plan, with the 64GB iPad Air 2

• Optus charges a total of$76 for 7GB per month, with each megabyte costing $0.00927.
• Telstra charges a total of $81 for 8GB per month, with each megabyte costing $0.00988.
• Vodafone charges a total of $74 for 8GB per month, with each megabyte costing $0.0903.

The 8GB plan from Vodafone is the hero plan Good Gear Guide recommends, for both its high allowance and value for money.

Winner: Vodafone

"I need a tonne of data" plans

Data hungry users in need of a generous allowance should head straight to Vodafone or Telstra. Although Optus offers 10GB for $91 per month, Telstra far suprasses in volume with $124 buying 15GB per month.

Then there’s Vodafone, which, for a single dollar more at $125 per month, offers a whopping 25GB monthly allowance. That’s enough for economical Internet users to do away with a home PC and Internet connection.

Winner: Vodafone

Read our first impressions of the Apple iPad Air 2

Final thoughts

Anyone interested in buying an iPad should take a serious look at their data needs before signing a 24 month contract. Going over a data plan will result in surcharges.

Apple's second generation iPad Air 2 is available from Vodafone stores and select Telstra and Optus stores from today, 23 October.

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Tony Ibrahim

Tony Ibrahim

Good Gear Guide

@slicktonyi

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