Want an iPad but can't countenance the associated outlay of cash up front? Orange is making that pill easier to swallow today with the revelation of its contract-tied pricing for Apple's tablet in the UK. Pre-orders are about to start today for obtaining the 3G-connected iPad at prices of £199 ($312) for the 16GB version, £249 ($391) for its 32GB sibling, or £349 ($626) for the one equipped with 64GB of storage. This is all subject to you signing up for a two-year plan costing £27 ($42) a month that'll give you 1GB of anytime data, 1GB of off-peak data (judged by Orange to be between midnight and 4pm), and 3GB of BT Openzone WiFi access for each twelfth of the year. The expectation is that Orange's new best bud, T-Mobile, will be offering similar pricing shortly, leaving us to wonder what Vodafone and O2 might be cooking up. The day of the subsidized tablet might be with us sooner than we thought.

[Thanks, Jon]

P.S. - We've just spotted that Three, the UK's 3G-only network, is also planning to sell the iPad "in the coming months." Pricing and data allowances, however, have yet to be revealed.