With the advent of Apple’s iPad, the tablet PC has become a highly sought-after gadget.
While Apple basically had the market to themselves until Google could produce a tablet-optimised version of their Android mobile operating system, competition in the SA market has heated up in recent months.
The release of Android Honeycomb, given the version number 3 and tablet-optimised by Google, has opened up the tablet market to manufacturers other than Apple.
Earlier this year (2011) Motorola launched its Xoom tablet – the first Android Honeycomb device to hit the market. It took many months, but it has finally made its way to the South African market, and was beaten here by competitors such as Samsung with its 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab devices, HTC, Acer, and Asus.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has also recently launched its PlayBook tablet PC in South Africa.
Many of these competing devices boast far more impressive technical specifications than the Apple’s iPad 2, but the sheer momentum of Apple’s devices have made them formidable competitors.
Another difference between the iPad 2 and other devices is that the iPad isn’t strictly speaking available on contract.
8ta and Telkom Business Mobile do offer R6,000 iStore vouchers on some of their packages which can be spent on any Apple product except the iPhone, but the deal structure makes it difficult to compare it directly to other tablet PC deals.
The below table compares the various tablet PC deals on offer from operators, sorted from the least expensive to the most.
|Tablet PC package comparison – September 2011|
|Product||Price (p/m)||Period (months)||Notes|
|Telkom Business Contract 3S||R410||24||16GB PlayBook + Curve 9300|
|Telkom Business Contract 4S||R595||24||32GB PlayBook + Bold 9780|
|MTN 100 contracts||R289||24|
|Telkom Business Internet 1||R315||24|
|Telkom Business Internet 5 Promo||R340||24||Optional “Midnight Surfer” 10GB for R100 p/m|
|Vodacom MyMeg 500MB||R379||24|
|Vodacom Business Call||R549||24||Xoom + Atrix; 100MB x 3 months; included Data SIM; 20 monthly weekend minutes|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab P1 (7-inch)|
|MTN Anytime 100||R199||24||additional 75MB and 25 SMSes per month|
|Cell C 200MB Smartdata||R199||24||Stores warn: Low stock – end of life|
|Cell C Casual Chat 100||R199||24||Altech Autopage website|
|Vodacom Top Up 135||R279||24||additional 100MB x 3 months|
|MTN 2GB Internet||R299||24||Altech Autopage website|
|Telkom Business Contract Basic S||R320||24|
|8ta Contract 4||R500||24|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 P7500|
|Vodacom MyMeg 500||R329||24|
|MTN 2GB Internet||R399||24||32GB model|
|Vodacom Business Call||R499||24||Tab 10.1 + Galaxy S2; 100MB x 3 months; included Data SIM; 20 monthly weekend minutes|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v P4|
|Vodacom Standard MyMeg 500||R389||24||Altech Autopage website|
|Huawei Ideos S7 Slim tablet|
|MTN 75MB Internet||R149||24|
|Cell C Smartdata 200MB||R149||24|
|MTN 75MB Internet||R159||24||Altech Autopage website|
|Vodacom Top Up 135||R199||24||additional 100MB x 3 months|
|Vodacom Standard MyMeg 250||R209||24||Altech Autopage website|
|MTN 75MB Internet||R269||24|
|Vodacom Top Up 135||R269||24||additional 100MB x 3 months|
|MTN 300MB Internet||R349||24||Altech Autopage website|
|MTN Anytime 200||R479||24||HTC Flyer + HTC Desire S|
|Vodacom Business Call||R549||24||Flyer + Sensation; 100MB x 3 months; included Data SIM; 20 monthly weekend minutes|
|Virgin Classic Phone Contract 800||R820||24|
It should be noted that most of these deals represent those highlighted by the networks and service providers themselves in their deal books and on their websites.
Usually these packages are the more affordable “all-inclusive” deals a service provider offers that don’t require a an additional once-off payment.