Which UK operators will offer micro SIMs for the Apple iPad?

That the iPad is to offer its 3G connectivity via a "micro SIM" card isn't some necessary hardware requirement - the device is plenty big enough to boast a full-size SIM - it's Apple's way of throwing a bone to mobile phone operators after announcing the iPad, unlike the iPhone, would be offered "unlocked".

Unlocked it maybe, but the micro SIM option means consumers aren't going to be able to get their iPad online with any old SIM and cheap data deal, but will be forced to opt for whatever micro SIM contracts operators offer. So, who in the UK will be providing such packages for the iPad? We asked the operators to find out.

As far as the current iPhone operators go, O2 was the most forthcoming with information telling Pocket-lint: "The Apple iPad is an exciting device but we have nothing to announce at this time" as well as "there are currently no devices on the O2 portfolio that require micro-SIMs and as such they are not available from O2. We are ready to support devices which require micro-SIMs when these devices become available" while Vodafone came in with a "no comment" and we've yet to hear back from Orange who have put the question to its Group press office.

3 said as far as the micro SIMs go "at the moment we don’t range it and don’t have plans to either", Tesco told us there are "no plans yet to launch SIM for the iPad" and T-Mobile and Virgin Media have not responded to our enquiries at all.

The Carphone Warehouse CEO Andrew Harrison said in a wider statement about the iPad launch: "We are really excited about all the Slate/Tablet products currently in the pipeline and look forward to providing our customers with additional options for connecting and consuming content in the future".

Reports on the net from both "sources" and the manufacturing company that makes the small scale SIMs, suggest that Orange and O2 are UK operators almost certainly due to offer micro SIMs and data packages, but it seems it will be some time before anything is confirmed - we will keep you posted.