iPad activations rocket 200% over past year

Though lines for the iPad Air were not as long as those for the new iPhones, AT&T isn't complaining. The carrier said on this week that it saw a sharp increase in iPad activations over the weekend.

"iPad activations on AT&T increased more than 200 percent over the past three days compared to last year's launch weekend, driven by consumer excitement around the new iPad Air and the popularity of AT&T Mobile Share, which lets customers add an iPad to their existing data plan for just $10 (£6) a month," Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, said in a statement. "We also saw strong demand for AT&T Next, which offers customers an iPad for $0 down."

The iPad Air went on sale last week in 42 countries, including the UK, US and Canada. Apple has yet to release official sales figures for the new tablet, but CEO Tim Cook said during a recent earnings call that he was confident that it would be an "iPad Christmas."

Apple product launches are usually a spectacle at the company's retail stores, though new iPhones tend to attract bigger crowds than iPads. A number of people likely pre-ordered the iPad Air - an option that was not available for the iPhone 5S last month - prompting big lines in New York City and elsewhere.

Others might be waiting for the updated iPad mini with Retina display. It will arrive in late November in white and silver or space grey and black. The Wi-Fi version will start at $399 (£249) (16GB) and $529 (£331) for Wi-Fi plus cellular. Meanwhile, the iPad Air is available in silver and white or space grey and black, starting at $499 (£312) for a 16GB Wi-Fi version and $629 (£393) for the cellular model.

And if you know that you will one day also be joining those activating an Apple tablet, but just don't know which one yet, check out our feature on whether you should buy an iPad Air or iPad mini Retina and our spec comparison of the iPad Air vs the iPad 4