Verizon, AT&T & Sprint start sales of LTE iPad mini and 4th-gen iPad

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U.S. carriers Sprint, AT&T and Verizon have announced they will begin selling Apple's newest 4G LTE iPads on Friday, though Sprint warned initial supply will be constrained as demand for the tablets continue to outstrip supply.

According to Sprint, customers who are not able to purchase the popular tablets on Friday will have the option to buy a $50 gift card to guarantee a spot on the telecom's reservation list. The money will be put towards the cost of the device upon arrival.

All LTE-equipped models of both the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad will be offered with month-to-month plans, meaning there will be no subsidy, however existing smartphone subscribers can add the tablet to their plan at a discounted rate of $10 for 100MB and $15 for 1GB. Regular monthly data plans range from $14.99 for 300MB of data and go up to $79.99 for 12GB, and the Sprint online store notes that the activation fee for all 3G and 4G LTE tablets will be waived.

Customers who preordered the cellular-capable iPad mini in October began receiving shipments of the tablet on Thursday, roughly one week after Apple sent out emails saying the devices would be arriving in five business days.

Last week, AT&T announced that it would be offering a $100 "promotional discount" for Apple's new LTE-enabled iPads purchased with a two-year service agreement.

"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," said Glenn Lurie, president of Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships at AT&T Mobility. "We're thrilled to offer iPad mini to our customers on the nation's largest 4G network."

Verizon will presumably also be selling the iPad mini at its stores today, but the company did not issue a formal announcement as of Friday morning. However, the iPad mini is available for sale on Verizon's website.

The LTE-capable iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad are also available available in Apple's retail stores.

Apple opened up pre-orders for the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad on Oct. 26, with Wi-Fi models of the smaller 7.9-inch tablets selling out in 35 hours. The full-size iPad followed suit and saw launch day stockouts four days after being made available.

According to Apple, total sales of the Wi-Fi-only devices reached 3 million units in their first three days.