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Apple's launch of the iPad Air alone was enough to trump activations of both the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad one year ago at U.S. carrier AT&T.
AT&T announced on Monday that iPad activations for the launch weekend of the iPad Air were up more than 200 percent year over year. The comments from AT&T Chief Executive Ralph de la Vega mark the first official statement regarding iPad Air sales, as Apple declined to offer its own numbers on Monday.
"iPad activations on AT&T increased more than 200% over the past three days compared to last year's launch weekend, driven by consumer excitement around the new iPad Air and the popularity of AT&T Mobile Share, which lets customers add an iPad to their existing data plan for just $10 a month," de la Vega said. "We also saw strong demand for AT&T Next, which offers customers an iPad for $0 down on the nation's fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network."
AT&T's comments are joined by online tracking data which suggests the new iPad Air is significantly more popular after three days of availability than both the iPad mini and fourth-gen iPad were at the same point last year. Data from Fiksu found that the iPad Air already represents 0.74 percent of all active iPads online, compared to 0.15 percent for the fourth-gen iPad last year.
Last year, after the iPad mini and "iPad 4" launch weekend, Apple issued a statement announcing that total sales of both devices exceeded 3 million. But this year, Apple only launched the iPad Air on Friday, as the second-generation iPad mini with Retina display is set to launch later this month.
Apple declines to detail sales figures on specific product models, such as breaking down iPad mini vs. full-size iPad popularity. It's likely for this reason that Apple has remained silent about the iPad Air launch weekend.