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Three: People don’t want to pay for tablet connectivity

Luke Johnson

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iPad mini
4G tablets still a hard sell says network

Three has revealed that 70 per cent of last year’s tablet sales were for Wi-Fi only devices, claiming consumers are reluctant to pay for additional tablet connectivity.

Despite a number of 7-inch and 10-inch tablets now coming in 4G compatible variants, Three has suggested that the manufacturer enforced price hikes associated with the internet-on-the-move friendly slates has put many consumers off.

70 per cent of tablet sales are still Wi-Fi and people don’t want to pay a premium at the moment for connectivity,” Brendan Arndt, Product Portfolio Manager at Three said speaking with TrustedReviews.

He added: “If a tab 8.4 Pro is £300 for the Wi-Fi and they have to pay £380 just to get the 4G version, I’m not sure they’re willing to do that.”

This may well be why HP has begun to include a free SIM and data package, called DataPass, with its Slate 7 Voicetab and HP Pavilion x360.

Discussing the wider tablet market as a whole, Arndt has revealed that the Sony Xperia Tablet Z was the network’s highest performing none-Apple tablet of the past 12 months.

“There have been a couple of wins on the Android side, but not as many as we thought there would be,” he told us.

“If you look at the market where the predictions were for last year, it was big, big sales. It didn’t quite hit where IDC wanted it to be.”

Although Android sales have been below expectations, Arndt added: “Apple iPad’s are absolutely still selling of course.”

Despite overall Android tablet sales failing to meet expectations in 2013, the Three representative has highlighted one as a standout performer that has further pushed the envelope for Google’s OS.

“The Tablet Z did good for us up against iPad Air, obviously not as strong as iPad in terms of sales, but it’s the first tablet we’ve been able to sell in some volume.”

Read More: Best Tablet 2014

Prem Desai

March 4, 2014, 7:49 am

Have 3 and other network providers considered the option that maybe they charge too much for data? Also, why is it measured in Mb or whatever - what does that really mean? How many people know how much data is used when streaming a song or a movie or browsing a web page? It's like driving a car without a fuel gauge.

Stop this nonsense. Data should be unlimited and reasonably priced and must be shareable between devices.

If they came up with a tariff which said £xx per month with unlimited use on all my mobile devices, I would always buy the 3G/4g option devices.

Spanner

March 4, 2014, 10:24 am

The Three One Plan has unlimited data including tethering. Just upgraded to 4G at no extra cost in Birmingham. £15 per month sim only on 12 month contract, £18 per month without contract. Its fantastic.

Lucius Fox

March 4, 2014, 10:58 am

Completely agree with Prem. I have a 4G iPad Mini, but after shopping around for Pay As You Go data plans, came to the conclusion that they are simply too expensive, even Three. Give me a Pay As You Go plan with a data allowance which doesn't expire after 30 days, and allows me to top up as infrequently as I want. Otherwise it's just not worth it.

Prem Desai

March 4, 2014, 5:15 pm

This IS a good deal but not good enough.

For starters, 3 coverage is rubbish (for me anyway).

I find tethering a bit of a faff. Now if I had 1 mobile and 2-3 tablets, even at 15/month, that's a lot of money (to me anyway).

The networks keep hiding behind the excuse that they can't offer unlimited broadband usage as people tend to go over is nonsense. For every person that goes over, there'll be at least 20 who don't. They need to deal with this rather than focusing on how to make a quick buck and end up making nothing at all.

Prem Desai

March 4, 2014, 5:17 pm

Thanks for the support.

I had completely forgotten about the expiry. If one paid for 3Gb (or whatever), why should it expire in 30 days? It should last 3Gb i.e. until one finishes it.

Gavin Martin

March 4, 2014, 8:09 pm

On the plus side of things, Three now has some good roaming deals...I went to the USA a couple of months ago and all usage was covered by my tariff minutes/data. Up to 25GB roaming data per month, covered by my £25 a month plan at no extra cost. I worked out that'd be £15,000 on O2!! I'd like a full breakdown and explanation of what roaming actually costs the networks because the prices they pass on to customers are ludicrous.

Would be nice to have multiple SIMs covered by one phone contract though - if I can use unlimited data on my laptop/iPad via a mobile phone hotspot, why not be able to use the same plan on a SIM in a tablet or laptop 4G card?

betelgeuse

March 5, 2014, 1:06 am

it's not the tariff they are mentiong bt the coparison in sales between wifi only and 3g units,the probable answer is £100 extra for a $3 component,plus the fact on the rare occasion you need a mobile connection on the road with a tablet,tethering will do.

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