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iPad options

It just got a lot more useful, with the release of iOS 4.2 - and now, the iPad also just got a lot more available.

Orange and T-Mobile - who are now, post-merger, mere alternative sides of a single, Janus-like coin - have announced they're going to start selling the iPad in the New Year. But there is more! Rumour has it they're going to make Apple's scarily high-selling tablet available for a mere £200.

That's less than half the cheapest price you can get it from at an Apple Store.

But! There is, of course, a catch. Such a bargain will only be had with a two-year data plan. That makes sense for an iPhone, but it's not clear many people will feel they'll use the iPad when out and about - as opposed to at home over wi-fi - to make it worth doing.

But it's another sign - along with the data-plan marketing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab - that networks are thinking about subsidising tablets in big ways, the way they do with phones. That means more choice, and that's never bad, right?

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