Apple officially revealed the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 at the big event at its headquarters earlier this month. Major US Carriers including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile have announced the release date of the new iPads.
iPad Air 2
The iPad Air 2 is the thinnest tablet in the world - weighing less than a pound and it is 18 percent thinner than the iPad Air. Improvements to its processor, graphics, and camera make for an overal beefier product over the original iPad Air. As expected, the iPad Air 2 will come with TouchID for fingerprint security and the ability to take time lapse and slow motion video for the first time on an iPad.
If you're into using your iPad Air 2 for more than just around the house in the comforts of your own wifi network, the LTE addition includes an interesting upgrade for this new version. Thanks to an Apple SIM card that comes pre-installed on cellular models, you can switch between carriers at any time. That's 20 bands of LTE coverage that give you the flexibility of experimenting with short-term plans with no commitments.
Oddly enough, AT&T has decided to lock the SIM onto its network, meaning that you'll not be able to switch to other networks if you decide to switch your carriers.
The iPad Air 2 starts at $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for the 64GB version, and $699 for the 128GB version. These prices reflect wifi-only capability, and if you'd like to upgrade to LTE, you're looking at another $130 for each model. Pre-Order is available at Apple Store Online or Best Buy.
Both Sprint and Verizon are offering the iPad Air 2 16GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular) with a 2 year contract for $529, or you can pay $26.24 per month for 24 months with $0 down payment (Total price $630). Verizon Customers can add a tablet for $10 per month and share the data on their MORE Everything plan.
AT&T is also offering the same price for a 2 year contract, while installment plan will be $31.5 per month for 20 months (Total price $630). Pre-Order is available at www.att.com. The installment plan of T-Mobile is exactly the same as Sprint and Verizon, which is $26.24 per month for 24 months with $0 down payment (Total price $630).
Target and Walmart have the tablet available now for preorder in stores and online, Target is selling the 16GB iPad Air 2 for $499 while Walmart is selling it for $489.
iPad Mini 3
The third generation of the iPad Mini bring fewer improvements than the iPad Air 2, but it will see the addition of the TouchID sensor. The iPad Mini 3 will also enjoy the Apple SIM capabilities of the iPad Air 2, so carrier loyalty is no longer an issue with either tablet.
Verizon is offering the iPad Mini 3 16GB (Wi-Fi + Cellular) with a 2 year contract for $429, or you can pay $22.08/ month for 24 months with $0 down (Total price $530). Again, AT&T offers exactly the same price as Verizon for a 2 year contract, and installments will be $26.5 per month for 20 months (Total price $530). T-Mobile is offering the iPad mini 3 with 16 GB storage for $530, customers can also pay $22.08/ month for 24 months with $0 down (Total price $530).
Target is selling the 16GB iPad Mini 3 for $399, while Walmart is sellling it at $389.
Both iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come in three gorgeous metallic finishes including gold, silver and space gray.