Telstra's confirmed it'll have the new iPad on March the 16th, and its competitors seem likely to announce the same thing this afternoon. Updated: Optus has just confirmed with me that they'll be offering it as well. It took several months after the iPad 2 launch for carriers to offer the iPad 2 on a contract basis, and if you still wanted one in a size greater than 16GB it might be the way to get one, as Apple's removed all references to the 32GB and 64GB iPad 2 from its store. But this time around, local carriers appear keen to get on the iPad gravy train, with Telstra indicating it'll "bring" the new iPad to Australia.
What then of Optus and Vodafone? No official word yet, although I'm told that both are preparing "statements" for this afternoon, which strongly suggests that they'll both offer it as well. I'll update with their statements once they go public.
Update: Optus has just confirmed with me that they'll offer the new iPad, with pricing "to be released in the coming days". They've also confirmed (not that it was ever terribly likely) that we won't be seeing an 1800Mhz LTE iPad; the iPad as released in Australia on March 16th won't be compatible with current Australian 4G networks.
Not that the official Telstra statement has a lot of meat on it; here it is in its entirety:
A Telstra spokesman said: We’re pleased to confirm that we will bring the new iPad to Australia from Friday 16 March.
Yes, the official statement from Telstra did assign it to "A Telstra spokesman". I wonder if they keep him in a cupboard for just this purpose?