November 12, 2012, 9:08 PM — AT&T has announced a $100 discount on any of the tablet computers it sells with a two-year service contract. The move is intended to spur holiday tablet sales and activations on the carrier's 3G and LTE networks.
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It applies to AT&T's full listing of tablets, including the Apple iPad and the iPad mini when it goes on sale later this month. The other tablets currently on the AT&T website are Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Samsung ATIV smart PC, and Pantech Element, both new and refurbished.
Dubbed a "promotional discount," the savings are being interpreted -- wrongly -- by some as an iPad subsidy, similar to the payments AT&T and other carriers make to Apple to reduce the money paid by subscribers for iPhones bought with a two-year contract.
From now until the promotion ends, AT&T customers will receive $100 off any tablet bought with a two-year data plan at AT&T's retail stores or online at www.att.com or at "selected agents or retailers," according to a statement from the company. AT&T iPad models with LTE cellular currently are $480, $580 and $680, depending on storage. The Samsung Tab model is currently $400.
The iPad mini with LTE is due to be released this month, and will start at $459 for the 16GB model; the 32GB and 64GB models successively add $100 to the price tag.
It's a common practice to offer promotional discounts during the holiday season. A discount, according to the Business Dictionary, is a "deduction from the face amount of an invoice, made in advance of its payment." The effect for the buyer is a lower price.