Qantas just upped the ante for its Australian counterparts Jetstar and Virgin in the airline tablet wars. Following an earlier trial, the transporter plans to hand out free iPads to all of its passengers — not just the high-flyers in business-class, like with Jetstar’s iPads or Virgin’s Galaxy Tabs — on every Boeing 767 aircraft in the fleet. The rollout, which starts in the last quarter of the year, will let those bored in the back seats watch an equally free 200 hours’ worth of QStreaming audio and video. Don’t confuse the gesture with a sudden bout of altruism on Qantas’ part, however. The pound-and-a-half weight of a current iPad sheds the tremendous amount of weight that would normally be needed for a conventional in-flight entertainment system built into the headrest, which on a typical 375-seat 767 could see the iPads pay for themselves within years, if not sooner. The option will give many Aussies something to look forward to for their domestic summer vacations. In the meantime, hop past the break for a Qantas video explaining how QStreaming worked during the original trial run.
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