Are Telstra's iPad Air 2 Plans good value?

Telstra’s revealed its pricing for its contract iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 tablets. Are they worth signing up for?
See Also
Are Vodafone’s iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 deals good value?
Like Vodafone yesterday , Telstra’s offering 24 month contracts on the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, with a variety of data tiers on offer. Here’s the basic deals as they stand.
Telstra iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Deals,S Plan,M Plan,L Plan,XL Plan,Apple Outright Purchase Price
Included Data,1GB,4GB,8GB,12GB,
iPad Mini 3 16GB Minimum Total Price,”$1,128 “,”$1,320 “,”$1,752 “,”$2,784 “,$659
iPad Mini 3 64GB Minimum Total Price,”$1,248 “,”$1,440 “,”$1,848 “,”$2,904 “,$779
iPad Mini 3 128GB Minimum Total Price,”$1,344 “,”$1,560 “,”$1,968 “,”$3,024 “,$899
iPad Air 2 16GB Minimum Total Price,”$1,224 “,”$1,440 “,”$1,848 “,”$2,904 “,$779
iPad Air 2 64GB Minimum Total Price,”$1,320 “,”$1,536 “,”$1,944 “,”$2,976 “,$899
iPad Air 2 128GB Minimum Total Price,”$1,440 “,”$1,632 “,”$2,064 “,”$3,072 “,”$1,019 ”
Comparison with Telstra’s own data-only BYO tablet plans are little more fiddly than with Vodafone, because the top tier of Telstra’s SIM-only plans offers you more data, with 15GB instead of 12GB under contract, so it’s not quite a like-for-like comparison in the same way. Here’s what you’ll actually pay for an iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3 with Telstra once those data costs are taken out.
Telstra SIM only tablet plans,S Plan (1GB/Month),M Plan (4GB/Month),L Plan (8GB Month),XL Plan (15GB/Month),Apple Outright Purchase Price
24 Month Data SIM-only Cost,$600 ,$840 ,”$1,320 “,”$2,520 “,
iPad Mini 3 16GB Adjusted Price,$528 ,$480 ,$432 ,$264 ,$659
iPad Mini 3 64GB Adjusted Price,$648 ,$600 ,$528 ,$384 ,$779
iPad Mini 3 128GB Adjusted Price,$744 ,$720 ,$648 ,$504 ,$899
iPad Air 2 16GB Adjusted Price,$624 ,$600 ,$528 ,$384 ,$779
iPad Air 2 64GB Adjusted Price,$720 ,$696 ,$624 ,$456 ,$899
iPad Air 2 128GB Adjusted Price,$840 ,$792 ,$744 ,$552 ,”$1,019 ”
Conclusions? As with Vodafone, as long as you’re going to spend the money on data anyway, there are some decent discounts to be scored by going contract with Telstra for an iPad Air 2. I’m still unconvinced that the iPad Mini 3 is worth buying, let alone on contract, though.
What about in comparison to Vodafone? Leaving network quality issues aside — those often vary depending not only on your location but also on time of day and other users — Telstra’s being just a touch more aggressive in pure discounting terms than Vodafone is when you take the data costs out.
As an example, Vodafone collects $696 for an iPad Air 2 128GB on its top tier data plan, where Telstra only collects $552. The flipside of that, however, is that Telstra only offers 15GB a month on that plan, and wants a total minimum of $3072 over the life of the contract. Vodafone would give you 25GB per month to play with and collect $2856 over the same period.

Author: Alex

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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