The nation’s largest carrier is out with a new way for customers to save money this holiday season. AT&T announced a new promotional discount, offering $100 off an LTE iPad (or any tablet) with a two-year contract agreement. A customer will be required to sign up for one of the data plans offered: 250MB for $15, 3GB for $30, or 5GB for $50 a month. Customers also have the choice to include the new iPad in their Mobile Share data plan for an extra $10 a month.

The promotion puts the base LTE 16GB model priced at $529, 32GB for $629, and 64GB for $729. To compare, Apple offers refurbished third-generation Wi-Fi + Cellular models at 16GB for $379, 32GB for $469, and 64GB for $579 on its website.

This is the first time we’ve seen a subsidized iPad, similar to how a phone contract works, from a carrier. Sprint and Verizon also offer the cellular iPad, but they make it available on a month-to-month basis. Of course, you do not have to sign the contract with AT&T by paying full price. A contract for a tablet is an interesting tactic that we hope doesn’t become the norm…

The full announcement is below:

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, AT&T* today announced it is offering a promotional discount to tablet customers.  Beginning Friday, Nov. 9, customers will receive $100 off any tablet purchased at an AT&T company owned store or online at or at selected agents or retailers with a two-year data plan agreement.

Tablet customers can choose from several qualifying data plan options, including adding a tablet to an AT&T Mobile Share plan for just $10 per month.  With Mobile Share, customers share a single bucket of data – from 1GB up to 20GB – with other devices, including smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, and more. 

The full range of tablet data plan options include:

  • AT&T Mobile Share: $10 to share between 1 GB and 20GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 250MB: $15 for 250MB
  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

“AT&T has the widest variety of tablets and a broad choice of data plans to pick from” said David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T. “With this new promotional discount for any tablet we sell, we’re giving our customers even more reason to stock up on the hottest device of the season, and just in time for the holidays”

AT&T customers have access to the nation’s largest 4G network, covering 285 million people. AT&T’s 4G network combines two fast technologies that work together for customers, LTE and HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. That means AT&T customers are able to enjoy a widespread, ultra-fast and consistent 4G experience on their compatible device as they move in and out of LTE areas.**  With other carriers, when you travel outside of their LTE coverage area with your smartphone, you may be on a much slower 3G network.

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