O2 Negotiating iPad 3G Deal

Cell service provider O2 is apparently negotiating with Apple for a U.K. 3G wireless data deal for the recently announced iPad, according to City AM. The 3G-compatible version of the iPad will ship as an unlocked device so users can choose the carier they want, but Apple is also working on special package deals with certain service providers.

Apple's deal with AT&T in the United States gets users 250MB of 3G data access per month for US$14.99, or unlimited 3G wireless data for $29.99 a month. Both plans include unlimited Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots, and users can sign up for and cancel the service on a monthly basis without incurring extra fees.

The iPad made its first official appearance at a special media event in San Francisco at the end of January. The tablet form factor device includes a 9.7-inch multitouch display, runs iPhone OS and is compatible with most iPhone apps, plays music and movies, includes an ebook reader and online ebook store, ships with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in, and some models will include 3G wireless data support, too.

Apple plans to start shipping the Wi-Fi version of the iPad in March, and the Wi-Fi plus 3G models should begin shipping about 30 days later.