Tablets Guide

Apple iPad Mini and Fourth-Gen iPad Telco Price Plans Comparison

Apple iPad Mini Price Plans Compared

Apple iPad Mini & 4th-Gen iPad Telco Price Plans in Singapore

At long last, the telcos have finally announced the contract pricing for the cellular versions of the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad. Before we dive into the lengthy calculations of the total costs of both iPads over a two-year contract, here are their standalone retail prices:

  Apple iPad Mini
(Wi-Fi + 4G)

4th-Gen Apple iPad
(Wi-Fi + 4G)

16GB $618 $828
32GB $748 $958
64GB $878 $1,088

 

Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G?

Choosing between the Wi-Fi-only and cellular models can be a tough decision to make for some consumers. It all boils down to individual preferences.

For consumers who dislike the hassle of turning on the wireless hotspot on their mobile phones (and as a result, draining the phone's battery faster) in order to connect the iPad to the Internet, then getting a separate data SIM card (for a cellular data-capable iPad) may be better. However, one also need to take note of the extra costs incurred when signing up for a multi-SIM service or a separate data SIM card plan that's typically tied to a two-year contract.

If you're reading this article, we reckon you've made up your mind to purchase a cellular model. We hope this article will give you a clearer understanding of the financial commitments you are putting yourself into.

 

iPad Mini with Two-Year Contract

As usual, the three telcos in Singapore will be offering the iPad Mini with a data plan. SingTel, StarHub and M1 have announced their price plans this morning. Here's an overview of the plans offered: -

  M1 SingTel StarHub
Monthly Fee (w/GST)
  •  $40
  •  $29.90 / $49.90
  • $42
Data Credit (GB)
  • 8GB
  • Excess data charges at $5.35/GB
  • Data capped at $94.16/month
  • 5GB / 10GB
  • Excess data charges at $5.35/GB
  • Data capped at $94/month

    *With effect from 1st Jan 2013:

    - Excess data charges at $10.70/GB
    - Data capped at $188/month
  • 11GB
  • Excess data charges at $6.42/GB
  • Data capped at $62.40 /month
Typical Download Speed
  • 3G - 0.9 to 7.1Mbps
  • 4G - 6.9 to 17.4Mbps
  • 3.4Mbps to 12.0Mbps
  • 3G DC-HSPA+: 1.4 to 9.9Mbps
  • 4G: 3.4Mbps to 12Mbps
SIM Card Fee
  • $26.75
  • $37.45
  • $37.45
Registration Fee
  • $10.70
  • $10.70
  • $10.70
Apple iPad Mini Contract Price
iPad Mini (16GB)
  • $218 
  • $299 / $99
  • $212 
iPad Mini (32GB)
  • $338
  • $439 / $239
  • $332
iPad Mini (64GB)
  • $438
  • $569 / $369
  • $436 

 

Total Costs Incurred over a Two-Year Contract

With a two-year contract tied to the data plan, we have compiled a table comparing the total amount you have to fork out over two years. We take into account the monthly subscriptions for two years and the one-time charges (including registration fees) as listed above for the respective telcos.

  M1 SingTel StarHub
16GB
  • Total cost over two years:

    ($40 x 24) + $218 + $26.75 + $10.70

    = $1,215.45
  • Total cost over two years for the 5GB data plan:

    ($29.90 x 24) + $299 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,064.75

  • Total cost over two years for the 10GB data plan:

    ($49.90 x 24) + $99 + $37.45 + $10.70 

    = $1,344.75
  • Total cost over two years:

    ($42 x 24) + $212 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,268.15
     
32GB
  • Total cost over two years:

    ($40 x 24) + $338 + $26.75 + $10.70

    = $1,335.45
  • Total cost over two years for the 5GB data plan:

    ($29.90 x 24) + $439 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,204.75

  • Total cost over two years for the 10GB data plan: 

    ($49.90 x 24) + $239 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,484.75
  • Total cost over two years:

    ($42 x 24) + $332 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,388.15
64GB
  • Total cost over two years:

    ($40x 24) + $438 + $26.75 + $10.70

    = $1,435.45
  • Total cost over two years for the 5GB data plan:

    ($29.90x 24) + $569 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,334.75

  • Total cost over two years for the 10GB data plan: 

    ($49.90 x 24) + $369 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,614.75
  • Total cost over two years:

    ($42 x 24) + $436 + $37.45 + $10.70

    = $1,492.15

Based on the calculations above, SingTel's offerings seem the best among the three telcos as it provides two data plans for consumers to choose from. Light users should find its 5GB data plan sufficient while the 10GB data plan should suffice for power users.

 

Multi-SIM Card Charges from the Three Telcos

Both SingTel and StarHub have also given its existing customers an option to sign up for a multi-SIM plan, and enjoy a slight discount on the iPad Mini. Based on our last check, SingTel will be shaving $10 off the iPad Mini's retail price, while StarHub is shaving $20 off. 

Considering that you have to fork out $48.75 for SingTel and $32.10 for StarHub, the discount merely offsets the one-time payment for the multi-SIM service.

Here's a table that shows you the different subscription, activation or SIM card charges from all three telcos: 

  M1 SingTel StarHub
Monthly
Subscription
  • $10.70  
  • $10.70
    (1 SIM + 1 MicroSIM card)
  • $21.40
    (2 SIM + 1 MicroSIM card)
  • $32.10
    (3 SIM + 1 MicroSIM card)
  • $10.70
     
Registration
& Activation Fee
  • Free
  • $10.70
  • $10.70
SIM Card Fee
  • $26.75
  • $37.45 for 1st set of 2 SIM cards
    (1 SIM + 1 MultiSIM)
     
  • $10.70 per subsequent card
  • $21.40 

Note: A multi-SIM card shares the data bundle of your mobile phone plan. As such, you will not enjoy 4G LTE data speeds on your iPad Mini if you're still on a 3G plan.

 

Contract-Free iPad Mini + Multi-SIM Signup with Existing Mobile Plans

Next, we'll be looking at the cost of signing up for a multi-SIM card. This is based on the assumption that you're an existing customer with the particular telco, with a data plan tagged to your smartphone. Similarly, we will be including the one-time charges, which include activation and registration fees of the multi-SIM service. 

In case you are wondering, we are using the retail prices of the iPad mini (from Apple Online Store and other authorized resellers) and not the prices offered by the telcos. To give you an idea of how much it'll cost compared to the new sign up that we've mentioned in our previous section, here's the breakdown of the total cost over a two-year period.

  M1 SingTel StarHub
16GB
              
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $26.75 + $618

    = $901.55
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $10.70 + $37.45 + $618

    = $922.95
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $10.70 + $21.40 + $618

    = $906.90
     
32GB
 
  • Total cost over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $26.75 + $748

    = $1,031.55
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $10.70 + $37.45 + $748

    = $1,052.95
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $10.70 + $21.40 + $748

    = $1,036.90
64GB
 
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $26.75 + $878

    = $1,161.55                                                 
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $10.70 + $37.45 + $878

    = $1,182.95
  • Total costs over two years:

    ($10.70 x 24) + $10.70 + $21.40 + $878

    = $1,166.90

When it comes to signing up a multi-SIM plan with the telco, all three telcos are pretty close to one another. As SingTel and StarHub charge slightly more for the one-time payment (registration / activation + SIM card), M1 has the best deal in this case.

A general note for all consumers: the data speeds offered by a multi-SIM plan is dependent on the mobile plan you signed up for. If you haven't signed up for a 4G mobile plan, you will not enjoy 4G LTE speeds on your iPad Mini. 

On the other hand, if you've signed up for a new mobile plan or recontract recently, you are most likely to be using the new tiered mobile plans from all three telcos. Therefore, you've to keep a close watch over your data usage.

Here's an article where we recommend six apps for monitoring data usage on mobile devices. You also can check out our illustrated overview of tiered smartphone plans, where graphs are drawn up to give you an idea of which mobile plan from the respective telco will suit your needs.

 

Two-year Contract Versus Multi-SIM Signup

So what is the preferred option? Signing up for a new data plan to get a theoretical download speed of 75Mbps, or sticking with your current data plan and paying for a multi-SIM? To answer that question, here's the final comparison between the two methods of getting the iPad Mini from your preferred telco.

  With 2-Year Contract With Multi-SIM
16GB
  • M1: $1,215.45
     
  • SingTel: $1,064.75 / $1,344.75
     
  • StarHub: $1,268.15
  • M1: $901.55
     
  • SingTel: $922.95
     
  • StarHub: $906.90
32GB
  • M1: $1,355.45
     
  • SingTel: $1,204.75 / $1,484.75
     
  • StarHub: $1,388.15
  • M1: $1,031.55
     
  • SingTel: $1,052.95
     
  • StarHub: $1,036.90
64GB
  • M1: $1,435.45
     
  • SingTel: $1,334.75 / $1,614.75
     
  • StarHub: $1,492.15
  • M1: $1,161.55
     
  • SingTel: $1,182.95
     
  • StarHub: $1,166.90

As you can see, getting a contract-free iPad Mini with a multi-SIM plan gives you significant savings over a two-year period although you may have to bear with lower surfing speeds if you're not already on a 4G plan.

 

Change of Normal / Micro-SIM to Nano-SIM Card

Existing customers who just want to change their normal or micro-SIM card to a nano-SIM card for use with the iPad Mini have to pay the following charges:

  • M1 - $26.75
  • SingTel - $37.45
  • StarHub - $21.40