Huge popularity of iPad Mini series of tablets has induced the largest carrier in the U.S. – AT&T Inc. (T - Analyst Report) to kick start the sale of Apple Inc’.s (AAPL - Analyst Report) new iPad Mini to its customers at a reduced price.
The new iPad Mini, which possesses a 7.9 inch multi touch display integrated with 5 megapixel camera and is 23% lighter and 53% thinner than its predecessor iPad 3. Both iPad Mini and the fourth generation iPad are powered with iOS 6, which offers faster wireless connectivity and increased battery life. Customers can get the new iPad Mini at a discount from AT&T owned stores with a two-year data plan.
Apple has already sold three million iPad Minis within just three days of its launch, which indicates that AT&T will be having a huge Christmas ahead with strong customer additions and solid revenue generations.
Last quarter, AT&T was the highest selling iPhone 5 carrier-partner for Apple with 4.7 million smartphone sales. So, it is highly anticipated that AT&T will continue to maintain this trend as the company is aggressively expanding its 4GLTE coverage (already covered 103 countries till date) across the nation. Moreover, its new Mobile Share plans, which allow connecting more than one device to its data plans will further boost the new iPad sales as it will cost only $10 per month to connect the new mini iPad to its new data sharing plan.
However, AT&T is not the only carrier-partner to offer the new iPad Mini devices. Even the third largest carrier in the U.S. – Sprint Nextel Corp. (S - Analyst Report) has also joined the bandwagon with attractive data plan rates to offer stiff competition to its nearest rival. Moreover, Amazon.com Inc’.s (AMZN - Analyst Report) Kindle Fire HD tablet, which happens to be quite popular among low-end market, will further offer stiff resistance to iPad Mini sales. Hence, the upcoming Christmas season is all geared up for the new tablet war. Hence, it is to be seen how AT&T deals with such impediments while moving ahead.
We are currently maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on AT&T. The stock retains Zacks#3 (Hold) Rank for the short term (1-3 months).