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I am thinking about giving out iPad Airs to my customers. However, I have some concerns about how to "gift" an iPad + 3G.

Do we have to pay the data for the device or could we make them responsible for the data? Does it require a contract or is it that it's just a normal iPad until they walk to their neighborhood __ store and get a SIM card? Or is it where there is a contract like a phone and we will be billed?

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No, you aren't responsible for their data bill. And they can go into any Apple Store or carrier store to get the required SIM. The only issue may be network requirements per region, but those likely won't be a concern in any developed country that supports the required bands. Also, activation is not required on the iPad, and this page: deals with instruction on how they can set up a wireless data plan. – user10355 Nov 8 '13 at 3:29
Also, there is no service to gift multiple products to different locations that I know of. You will be responsible for buying the items and then shipping them out to the various people yourself. – user10355 Nov 8 '13 at 3:30

All iPads that have cellular data are on a contract-free basis and you only pay for the capability to connect when you buy the iPad from Apple (and presumably all other sellers - even a wireless store).

There is no linking of the account that purchased to the SIM cards and you don't need any sort of credit check, subsidy or contract with the iPad Air.

The devices in the USA are tied to the carrier that you selected, so if you wanted to let your recipients pick the model they wanted, just buy them an Apple Store gift card (which is very different than an iTunes or App Store gift card) so that they can purchase the appropriate model. The only down side is they may choose to use the gift for other purposes so you might want to poll them to their preferred carrier or let them haggle a closed box return / exchange with Apple or someone on the street with cash seeking an iPad.

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