Apple promised an iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad with Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity, and on Nov. 16 Sprint and AT&T each began selling both.
On the Verizon Wireless Website, both devices are listed to ship by Nov. 19.
All three carriers are following Apple's suggested retail prices of $459 for the 16GB model, $559 for the 32GB and $659 for the 64GB—which leaves them to tussle over the issue of data plans.
"Our customers are increasingly connecting their devices to the mobile Internet and our new Mobile Share plans allow them to add a tablet for just 10 dollars a month," Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T Mobility, said in a Nov. 16 statement.
The newest iPads are Sprint's first Apple tablets, and in time for them, it introduced tablet pricing plans, which in two categories, Sprint likes to point out, offers 20 percent more data than competing plans at the same price point.
The least expensive of the Sprint plans begins at $14.99 for 300MB of 3G/4G data—at the same price AT&T offers 250MB of data. Sprint also offers 3GB for $34.99—and here AT&T might point out that it charges $30 for the same. For $50, Sprint, like Verizon Wireless, offers 6GB of data though AT&T offers 5GB.
The difference between 5GB and 6GB, Sprint noted in a Nov. 16 statement, is "50,000 emails, 2,000 Web page views or 3,333 more picture uploads."
Sprint also offers Mobile Broadband Passes that can be used with the iPads. The Passes start at $14.99 for 300MB and can be billed to a credit card.
Apple began selling WiFi-only versions of its newest iPads Nov. 2, and even Apple fans in the Big Apple—much of it still without power following the Oct. 29 landfall of Hurricane Sandy—showed their enthusiasm, some of them queuing up to purchase what would be the only fully charged device in their still-dark homes.
Within three days, Apple said in a Nov. 5 press release, it sold 3 million iPads, which was "double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million WiFi-only models sold for the third-generation iPad in March."
To a crowd expecting Apple's first petite iPad, the company introduced the Mini Oct. 23, after first debuting a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, two new super-thin all-in-one iMacs, a refreshed Mac Mini, and that fourth-generation iPad—which arrived just six months after its predecessor.
The Mini features a 7.9-inch display that offers 35 percent more screen area than competing 7-inch tablets and 67 percent more viewing area in the browser, according to Apple. It runs an Apple A5 processor, has a front-facing FaceTime camera and rear-facing 5-megapixel iSight camera, gets 10 hours of battery life and measures 7.87 by 5.3 by 0.28 inches.
The WiFi-only version weighs 0.68 pounds and the Long Term Evolution (LTE) version 0.69 pounds.
"There is nothing as amazing as this," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, introducing the iPad Mini at a California event. "It is incredibly thin and beautiful ... from every angle."