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Orange iPad iPhone joint tariff is £65 as other networks tout cheap deals

Summer madness is upon us as the UK mobile networks try to tempt contract and pay as you go customers with new deals.

Orange's new 'Connected' 24-month contract is designed for Apple fanatics who want to use a 3G iPad 2 and an iPhone 4 together. Sounds useful! That must save you some money, right? Er, no. It's £65 per month on top of upfront fees.

But if you can't live without an active data connection on two devices at once, Orange's new plan may be worth checking out. Though it's a hefty monthly outlay, it bags you a reduced upfront fee on certain devices, 2GB of data and near-unlimited use of BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots to share between both devices, plus 600 minutes of calls and unlimited texts for the iPhone.

You could buy two separate Orange plans -- one for the iPad and one for the iPhone -- for less money, but you'd lose out a little on data. The most you'd get is 1GB on the iPad (we'll rule out the 'night owl' midnight-4am data allowance) and 750MB on the iPhone. The connected plan simplifies your data usage.

We're not convinced this is a better deal than paying for more iPhone data and tethering your iPad (or going with O2), but it may well suit some. Existing Orange customers can pick up a 16GB iPad 2 and 16GB iPhone 4 for £99, with upfront prices steadily rising to £299 for a 64GB iPad 2 and 32GB iPhone 4. New customers will be charged £50 extra.

It's June, and summer feels like it's arrived, which is perhaps why every network seems to be coming up with a deal to tempt (or should that be confuse) the consumer.

BlackBerry lovers on an austerity drive may also like Orange's new Orange 10 and Orange 15 plans. Orange 10 gets you a free BlackBerry Curve 8520 with 50 texts and 50 minutes for a tenner a month. Orange 15 customers get 100 minutes, 500 texts and 100MB data allowance and email for £15 per month, though they need to buy a separate handset such as the BlackBerry Curve 9300, Pearl 9105, Bold 9780 or Torch 9800.

Pay as you go customers aren't left out either. Virgin Media is hoping to entice data-hungry mobile users with a new Mobile Web voucher, offering 1GB of monthly data for six months for just £25.

Meanwhile, if talking or texting are more your thing, T-Mobile is offering bonus services to anyone topping up £10 per month. Customers can choose from unlimited texts, 100 free UK minutes or an hour's worth of UK to international calling.

Should you be looking for a new deal, we suggest you buy a calculator with a screen you can still see in direct sunlight. That way, at least you can soak up some rays while your brain is frazzled by pounds, minutes and megabytes.

Update 13:39: Full pricing included.