Sprint announced this morning that it is now offering the iPad mini and fourth generation iPad with LTE connectivity in “select Sprint retail locations.” Sprint is one of three official U.S. data providers for Apple’s tablet, offering LTE data plans for the iPads that don’t carry a contract and only require 30 day commitments at a time. AT&T is also said to likely be starting iPad mini sales today [update: it's official, AT&T is also selling the iPad mini with LTE starting today], as well as Apple retail stores, as customers in the U.S. at least have begun receiving shipments of their devices, as expected.
Sprint is the first to officially announce that it will be offering the iPad mini in-store beginning today, and the carrier also sells the new Apple tablet via its online store. AT&T stores are likely receiving them today as well, according to earlier reports, and sources have also heard that Apple will be stocking limited quantities in-store in their physical retail locations, though apparently the decision to begin selling them still remains with corporate even though stores have stock.
The LTE version of Apple’s iPad mini comes in two flavors in the U.S., one which is compatible with AT&T’s network, and one that works with Sprint and Verizon’s 4G. The devices start at $459 in the U.S. for 16GB, going up to $559 for 32GB and $659 for 64GB. Estimated shipping times at the official Apple Store remain at two weeks, so if you’re looking to get one quick and you haven’t pre-ordered, heading out to a brick-and-mortar store today might be your best bet.
Update 2: Verizon now has also officially announced availability of the iPad mini with LTE in their stores.
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone.