By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — All four national carriers are on board to offer the LTE-equipped versions of the iPad Air and new iPad Mini with Retina display through their direct channels.
The quartet of carriers will offer the iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular on Friday, Nov. 1, and iPad Mini with Retina display and Wi-Fi + Cellular later in November, coinciding with Apple’s announced launch of the products in the U.S.
For the first time, T-Mobile will offer a cellular-equipped iPad, given Apple’s inclusion of more LTE bands to support more networks in more countries.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the iOS devices will operate in LTE mode in Sprint’s current 185 LTE markets. The carrier expects to expand its LTE footprint to more than 200 million people by the end of the year. Sprint tablet plans start at $5 per month.
For its part, AT&T said the iPads would operate on the “nation's fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network” and that data plans will include AT&T Mobile Share plans, which let tablet users share a bucket of data with other family members for $10 per month. Pay-per-use plans ranging from a $5 250MB day pass to a $50 30-day, 5GB pass are also available.
For its part, Verizon Wireless said its iPads would operate on the “nation's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.” Ken Dixon, Verizon Wireless chief marketing officer, noted that about 34 percent of American adults now own tablets, almost twice as many as a year ago.
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