Earlier this week Apple officially unveiled two new additions to the iPad family: the highly rumored iPad Mini and the iPad “4,” an upgraded version of its Retina Display tablet. The mini slate will be available in the US beginning Nov. 2 and the fourth generation iPad is already in stores, but now a major UK carrier has announced these products will launch overseas with LTE.
On Thursday EE confirmed that it will offer LTE- and cellular-enabled versions of these two tablets “in the coming weeks.” These devices will be sold through EE as well as the other companies it owns, Orange and T-Mobile, but the latter two will be limited to HSPA+/DC-HSDPA connectivity rather than LTE.
The iPad Mini will be available for pre-order in the UK beginning on Oct. 26, the same day that US pre-sales are set to launch. It will be priced at £369 for the 16GB version with Wi-Fi and 4G.
This announcement from EE isn’t much of a surprise—it’s the only carrier in the UK that provides 4G service compatible with Apple’s new line of iPads. EE offers data plans in the form of three different 24-month contracts. Users can pay £25.99 for 2GB of data, £30.99 for 3GB or £35.99 for 5GB. Beyond that, an additional £6 gets users another 500MB of data and £15 adds another 2GB.
Three, a global mobile network available in areas such as Italy, Denmark and Hong Kong, has also confirmed that their UK branch will be carrying the iPad Mini and Apple’s new iPad 4 in the coming weeks. Three has said that it will offer a range of data plans, according to Tech Radar UK, but has not revealed any pricing details at this time.
On its official website, Three boasts that it is “proud to be the UK’s fastest-growing mobile network,” and while users will not be able to experience the speedy 4G LTE service that comes with EE’s variant, the data plan prices are expected to be less expensive.
UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has also announced that it will offer the iPad Mini, although it hasn’t released information about which networks it will be compatible with. Carphone Warehouse also has yet to announce a release date for Apple’s new 7.9-inch tablet.
Apple’s iPad began dominating the tablet market last year in the UK, and these two additions to Apple’s tablet line could reinforce this success. Figures dating back to 2011 from Kantar Worldpanel ComTec show that more than half of UK dwellers planning to purchase a tablet would buy the iPad. More than 3.6 million UK citizens already owned a tablet as of about one year ago, according to the report which was published by The Financial Times.
Apple’s new iPad 4 boasts ramped up internal hardware like the A6X chip, which pushes performance speed and high-end graphics to more than double the levels in the previous-generation iPad. It also features faster Wi-Fi and expanded LTE coverage, as Apple’s Phil Schiller announced at Tuesday’s event. The iPad Mini comes equipped with a 7.9-inch display with a resolution of 1024x768 and is powered by Apple’s dual-core A5 chip.