Pretty much spot on. Most iPads are not sold on a phone contract, and even if they were, there is very little reason to update that often since Apple is pretty good at supporting older iPads with iOS updates.
The most likely answer is that Apple and Mrs Ahrendts agreed the start date when they offered her the job, and the Guardian has no idea what that date is. Quality paper or not, the Guardian likes to make sales, and Apple speculation is a huge draw for online readers.
Nothing new. Carriers have always pushed Android the iWare for one reason or another: they cost more, they can't control the platform, Apple won't let them load them down with crapware . . . And Apple is squeezing them hard because it wants more sales of iWare to go through the Apple stores. The problem that the carriers have is that people want an iPhone, but they settle for an Android. It's not an ideal situation for them.
That's got to be the worst reason for buying any company. So you think that they should drop $8Billion (and contrary to popular belief, 8bill is a lot of money in anyone's book, including Apple's) on a company that will hang around the company's neck, swallowing resources until they can sell it for a fraction of what they bought it for? When folk press Apple to drop huge amounts of money on companies because everyone else is doing it, they forget one thing: Apple doesn't...