It was reported on “my paper”:http://news.omy.sg/News/Local%2BNews/Story/OMYStory201005040037-148829.html that Singtel has started testing the iPad in-house. However nothing specific was mentioned in that article about what Singtel was actually testing, especially since they were using only the WiFi model.
bq. An industry source told my paper that the telco has been testing the Wi-Fi version of the iPad in-house, and that it is looking to test the 3G version … When contacted, a SingTel spokesman did not confirm if the telco was testing the tablet but said “we have been in discussions with Apple to introduce the iPad to Singapore”. … The SingTel spokesman said that it has been “extensively” testing micro SIMs which are smaller than normal SIMs and needed by the 3G iPad to go online and is “confident that (micro SIMs) will work on SingTel’s network”.
That last portion from the article, I believe, is probably the main reason why SingTel is testing those iPads as they are, I believe the first commercially available gadget that uses the new micro SIM. Put that together with the recent iPhone leaks that revealed that the rumored new phone will also use the same micro SIM card, telcos here at least can do real-world testing of their data network with the iPad. When the new iPhone is announced in June this year at WWDC, they would have been ready to offer with these new MicroSIM cards.
Another interesting part to the article also touched on data plans that Singtel might offer with the iPad. In it, there was also a mention of SingTel looking at offering the iPad with mobile broadband plans similar to “AT&T”:http://www.apple.com/ipad/3g/. They are pre-paid, non-contract plans that provide 250MB or Unlimited usage at a price of US$14.99 and US$29.99 respectively. Currently Singtel only offers “3 day unlimited”:http://info.singtel.com/personal/communication/internet/broadband-on-the-go/broadband-on-mobile/prepaid-data-plan pre-paid cards that costs S$18 which is definitely inadequate with the iPad.
However, for most iPhone users in Singapore, they would most likely already been tied to a phone plan with a “massive data package”:http://iheartapple.org/2009/12/m1-also-announces-iphone-pricing-and-sales-date/ attached to their contract. If they do get the iPad 3G, there is already an easy solution to get hooked up without getting a new plan.
The three telcos here have a value-added service called MultiSIM and with just an average monthly payment of S$5, you can get an additional SIM card that you can insert into the iPad to share that data plan – well at least for now, you will need to “snip it to size”:http://iheartapple.org/2010/05/ipad-3g-wifi-works-with-starhub-sim-requires-snipping/. So when telcos provide the option to choose between standard SIM or Micro SIM, you are more or less set to get the iPad without requiring a separate plan.