iPad mini LTE goes on sale; shipping times remain delayed

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Just two weeks after the iPad mini made its debut, LTE-enabled versions of the tablet are now on sale at retailers.

Sprint and AT&T both announced on Friday that they are now selling the LTE versions of the tablet, which can access their respective high-speed cellular data networks. That access allows users to download email and surf the Internet even if they’re not in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Verizon made no formal announcement, but it was expected to also begin sales of a version of the tablet for its network on Friday.

Apple fans can also order the iPad mini directly from the company, though both the Wi-Fi and LTE versions of the tablet are currently listing shipping times of two weeks. Shipping delays on the Wi-Fi-only models had raised concerns that the LTE launch—always scheduled for mid-November—might be delayed.

The launch comes a day after AT&T announced that it has doubled its LTE coverage in 2012, to more than 150 million people in 103 markets—and expects to cover 250 million people across the country by the end of 2013. As The Verge noted, Verizon has said it should reach 260 million people with its LTE network by the end of this year.

LTE versions of the iPad mini cost $459 for the 16GB model, $559 for 32GB, and $659 for 64GB.

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