Apple iPad mini another 4G exclusive
The launch of the iPad mini was well known, but the precise details were uncertain, and it seems that the mobile broadband aspect of the device remains pretty much in line with the iPhone 5 that only launched 5 weeks ago.
The Apple UK website lists two models that support mobile broadband, but never seems to mention 4G in the product webpages, until you hit the tech specs are the bands the device operate in are listed, and even then it is confusing for average reader as you need to know that band 3 refers to the 1800MHz spectrum that EE are launching 4G on from 30th October.
4G LTE Frequencies supported:
- iPad mini - Model 1454 - 2100 Mhz (Band 4) and 700 MHz (Band 17)
- iPad mini - Model 1455 - 2100 MHz (Band 1), 1800MHz (Band 3), 850 MHz (Band 5), 700 MHz (Band 13) and 1900 MHz (Band 25)
- iPad 4th generation - Model 1459 - 2100 Mhz (Band 4) and 700 MHz (Band 17)
- iPad 4th generation - Model 1460 - 2100 MHz (Band 1), 1800MHz (Band 3), 850 MHz (Band 5), 700 MHz (Band 13) and 1900 MHz (Band 25)
The 3G and 3.5G support is the same on all the mobile broadband supporting models, and the dual band WiFi supporting a/b/g and n is of course available. The price premium is significant between the WiFi and mobile enabled devices, the 16GB WiFi model costs £269 with the 3G/4G support adding another £100 to the price (to get GPS on the iPad you need to buy a mobile broadband enabled version).
So while it may seem cheaper to buy the WiFi device and use a MiFi or equivalent, it is possible that contract bundles may turn out to be a cheaper option over 12 or 24 months.
With Google expected to launch a new 10 inch tablet and the next Nexus smartphone, the mobile operators will be hoping for wider 4G support in the UK, or alternatively they may not be worried because they know that the 2013 iPad versions will include more 4G support.