SERVICE LINKS

iPad from FNB or Autopage?

My Apple iPad and Altech Autopage

Recently I purchased an Apple iPad from my bank. At the time I knew I would need data but that urge to have an Apple iPad was just to great and so I logged in and clicked on the order tablet tab and scrolled through and chose the option which I thought would suite my need the most. I decided on the Apple iPad 32gb Wifi + 4G and selected it on the banking website and it all appeared like a pretty straight forward transaction. Unbeknownst to me I would be waiting 45 days to receive my Apple iPad, and I would have to call my bank 18 times to follow up. Also there would be no data included.

Now I have done some research into pricing and found what my bank was offering compared to some other suppliers and found that my bank was offering the following,
Device Monthly price (for 24 months) Gold Cheque Account Platinum Cheque Account Private Clients Account
Contract is for 24 months. Account fees are R92 p/m for Gold, R110 p/m for Platinum and Private.
Apple iPad 3 16GB Wi-Fi R205 R297 R315 R315
Apple iPad 3 16GB Wi-Fi + 4G R259 R351 R369 R369
Apple iPad 3 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G R299 R391 R409 R409
Apple iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G R219 R311 R329 R329

Now these deals look pretty good for a new Apple iPad and at the time these deals were available my bank was one of the only suppliers or distributers of the new Apple iPad. Having selected the Apple iPad 32gb Wifi + 4G option I would be paying R299 per month and then my monthly account fee of R92 pm for the type of account I am on the total would amount to R391 per month for 24 months.

Having been one of the first people I know to order the new Apple iPad I was not sure how long this process would take and unfortunately found out the hard way that it was quite a process, where I had to supply 3 month’s payslips, my ID and my proof of residence, where after I would wait approximately 15 working days without hearing anything. Only after I had called my bank and logged a subsequent query I managed to get the process going to get my new Apple iPad. I had to contact my bank numerous times after my query that I had logged only to be told someone would contact me back with a specific turnaround time given which was not met. After 18 calls to my bank and 45 days of waiting I eventually received my Apple iPad 32gb Wifi + 4G and was now faced with a new challenge.

Securing a data sim for my apple iPad would also prove to be a challenge. I am procurement manager for a company named Multinetwork cellular and data pty ltd and one of my functions would be to travel across Gauteng to one of 11 stores situated in Carnivall mall, Benoni, Brooklyn mall, Centurion mall, Clearwater mall, Faerie glen, Melrose Arch, Menlyn park shopping centre, Parkview mall, The Glen and Woodlands boulevard. So I decided that I would optain a prepaid sim on each network MTN, Vodacom, Cellc and 8ta to test and see what the signal would be like on each of the sims and thereby determine which would be the best for my needs.

Now I have 3G contracts but I would need a micro sim card and so I set off on a quest to obtain some prepaid micro sims which most consumers would not have the slightest idea how difficult this may be. So knowing that 8ta has reasonable rates I obtained a 8ta micro sim card from a store for 99c and had it rica’d and it went active. I put the sim card in my Apple iPad and to my surprise it did not work. I then contacted the 8ta call centre and they advised I need to get a sim card from a 8ta store or a Apple iStore. I then set off to the 8ta Flagship store in Woodlands boulevard. There they gave me a free sim card and rica’d it accordingly and it went active. To my surprise this sim did also not work and I then found out that there is a specific registration process for getting a 8ta sim card active for the new Apple iPad. I gave up on a 8ta prepaid sim card for my Apple iPad. I then decided to try a Mtn prepaid sim card and once again was searching for a prepaid micro sim card. All iStores and Mtn stores I visited in the Pretoria area did not have stock of the Mtn prepaid micro sim cards. A few stores offered to sell me a standard sim card and refer me to another cellular retailer in the mall who could cut the sim card for me to a micro sim card.

I had then done a bit more research into the costs of the prepaid data and found that the new Apple iPad uses a lot of data and therefore got pricing for 2GB of data on prepaid as this was in line with what most are using on their new Apple iPad. Below what I have found.
Data bundles: Prepaid and month-to-month
Service Data Price Cost/GB
8ta Go Big 2GB R149 R74.50
Vodacom 1GB + 1GB R249 R124.50
Cell C 3GB R400 R133.33
MTN 2GB R189 R194.50

Now there are some terms to using some of these data bundles. For example if you managed to get your 8ta prepaid micro sim working then you would not be able to purchase the 2gb of data at R149 as they only allow you to use specific data bundle which they decide.

8ta 3G Data Plans for iPad
Once-off Internet Data Bundle Once-off Bundle Cost
512MB R120
1GB R160
3GB R299

Then the next best option looks like the Mtn prepaid data bundle at R189 per month but after checking with Mtn they have advised that this is only a promotion and will only be R189 for 2gb for the next two months.
Vodacom R249 for 1gb of data not a option and Cellc have 3gb for R400 also too expensive. Now for those of you that do not know this is expensive compared to the contract pricing for 3g data contracts at the moment.

Altech Autopage steps in and has just started selling the new Apple iPad’s. Having an iPad already I decided to get some information about the options they have to compare if I am getting a reasonable deal.

So this is what Altech Autopage has available,
MTN
Apple Ipad2 16Gb Wifi 3G Black (Mc773) free R 339.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Mtn Broadband 2Gb

MTN
Apple Ipad2 16Gb Wifi 3G White (Mc982) free R 339.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Mtn Broadband 2Gb

MTN
Apple Ipad3 16Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md366) free R 379.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Mtn Broadband 2Gb

MTN
Apple Ipad3 32Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md367) free R 419.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Mtn Broadband 2Gb

MTN
Apple Ipad3 64Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md368) free R 449.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Mtn Broadband 2Gb

MTN
Apple Ipad3 64Gb Wifi 4G White (Md369) free R 449.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Mtn Broadband 2Gb

Vodacom
Apple Ipad2 16Gb Wifi 3G Black (Mc773) free R 349.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 2Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad2 16Gb Wifi 3G White (Mc982) free R 349.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 2Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 16Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md366) free R 389.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 2Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 32Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md367) free R 424.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 2Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 64Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md368) free R 464.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 2Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 64Gb Wifi 4G White (Md369) free R 464.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 2Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad2 16Gb Wifi 3G Black (Mc773) free R 399.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 3Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad2 16Gb Wifi 3G White (Mc982) free R 399.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 3Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 16Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md366) free R 439.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 3Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 32Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md367) free R 474.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 3Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 64Gb Wifi 4G Black (Md368) free R 514.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 3Gb Special

Vodacom
Apple Ipad3 64Gb Wifi 4G White (Md369) free R 514.00 x 24 months with Loaded Subs June 2012 on Vodacom 3Gb Special

Altech Autopage is offering the same Apple iPad 32gb wifi + 4G at R419 per month and it includes 2GB of data on Mtn per month.
I then enquired at Altech Autopage if I could walk into the store how soon I could get a Apple iPad and they advised that I could have the Apple iPad the following day if my application was approved. All I would need to supply the store with was the same I had to supply my bank with, my ID, proof of residence and 3 months bank statements or payslips.

So for just R28 more a month I could of got a Apple iPad 32gb wifi + 4G. I am disappointed to say the least regarding the fact that I could of saved myself a lot of pain and effort if I had just visited my nearest Altech Autopage store.
But there was some good that came out of this whole exercise. After speaking to Altech Autopage I found that I can get a Micro data sim at Altech Autopage on contract and that their deals are pretty competitive. So here are some of their deals for new data contracts,
MTN
Huawei E353 Modem free R 129.00 x 24 months with on Mtn Broadband 2Gb

MTN
Huawei E173 free R 273.00 x 24 months with Reduced Subs on Mtn Broadband Unlimited Lite

Vodacom
Vodafone Mobile Connect K3772 free R 149.00 x 24 months with MOFAYA(2GB) on Vodacom 2Gb Special

Vodacom
Vodafone Mobile Connect K3772 free R 199.00 x 24 months with MOFAYA(3GB) on Vodacom 3Gb Special

The Mtn and Vodacom deals they even give a modem which you can use for any existing contract or as a backup.

CellC
No Make No Handset free with PROMO 2 valid until 31 July 2012 on SmartData 2GB SIM Promo

Until the 31st of July this year you can get a Cellc contract data sim card with 2gb data per month for only R99 per month for 24 months.

I have since signed up with Altech Autopage for a data contract and have got not just the best data sim deal but also the best service as well.
I hope that this will give you a bit more insight into the purchase of your new Apple iPad as I would like to shed some light on some banks that may claim to have the best deal but let us let the banks stick to what they know best, banking and rather do business with a cellular service provider that knows what they are doing and that specializes in solutions to fit your needs. Rather than advertising that they have the best deal Altech Autopage has the best deal.

Written by
Ian Roux