BY | November 16, 2012

Finally after a long wait IPad Mini 4G LTE version has arrived. But it is sure to face tough competition from Google Nexus 7

Those of you who have been waiting for the iPad Mini with cellular connection, but can’t wait for the 2-3 weeks it will take online: rejoice, your wait is over. Sprint and AT&T will begin selling iPad minis with LTE from Friday the 16th, in their retail stores. Verizon and Apple are also expected to start selling the iPad Mini with LTE in their stores on the same day.

Apple had promised that the cellular version of the iPad mini would arrive  a “couple of weeks” after the Wi-Fi only version. Those who had ordered online were initially given at date near the 23rd of November, which was about a week more than Apple had promised. But recently buyers were reporting that they have been seeing a revised, 16th of November date as the expected arrival date.

In line with these changes, now the LTE version of the tablet comes to all the major retail outlets near the time Apple promised. This version of the tablet should do well as cellular connectivity remains the crucial differentiating factor between the iPad and the Nexus line.

Apple launched the iPad Mini near the end of last month. The 7.9 inch tablet is a thinner, lighter and smaller version of Apple’s breakthrough 9.7 inch iPad. Initially however it could only provide the Wi-Fi version of the tablet, with the LTE equipped Minis promised for later. Apple reported robust sales of the iPads in the first weekend, when nearly 3 million of the units were sold. However it did not break the numbers in the iPad mini, and the iPad 4 sales. Analysts however think that of the 3 million the iPad mini has the larger share of the sales.

In recent months Apple’s competitors have put pressure on the iPad with the launch of alternatives to the iPad. Of those, Microsoft’s Surface and Google’s Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 are the ones that got the most attention. The Nexus 7, with which the iPad Mini is going to compete is an excellent device with better processor, better screen and a lesser price.

The Nexus 10 is meant to compete with the bigger iPad. It too has a great screen (the best in the market in fact) a great processor and powerful graphics capability. The Nexus 10 also comes at about $100 less than the iPad. The Nexus 10 is just out so one has to wait and see how it performs, but if the Nexus 7 is any indication, it will take another chunk of tablet sales.

What both these products lack however is LTE, and the fast speeds that it brings. Therefore the addition of LTE to the iPads are crucial. What the LTE version is not, is cheap. The iPad mini with LTE comes for $459 for a 16-GB model and is also available for $559 for a 32-GB model and $659 for a 64-GB model.

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