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Apple iPad Air release date, pricing and carrier details

iPad Air
Lighter than Air

It wasn't the iPad 5 per say, but we did get the next-gen, full-sized tablet from Apple today in the form of the iPad Air on October 22.

The iPad Air went on sale today at a variety of retail outlets, including Apple's very own. All models are showing a ship time of "within 24 hours" at the Apple Store, so if you order now, you should be good to get one soon.

Price-wise, the iPad Air starts at $499 for a Wi-Fi only 16GB model. Moving up the Wi-Fi ranks, 32GB costs $599, 64GB is $699 and the 128GB will slam down for $799.

If you want a little cellular data with your Wi-Fi connection, you'll be on the hook for $620 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, $829 for 64GB and $929 for 128GB.

Where can you get the iPad Air?

AT&T - The carrier in blue has added the iPad Air to its line-up, with data options for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model running 250MB for $14.99/month, 3GB for $30 /month and 5GB for $50/month. Customers can also use the carrier's Next upgrade program to snare an Air.

Verizon - The nation's largest LTE network isn't sitting out offering the iPad Air, and Big Red is selling cellular data plans starting at 1GB for $20/month, 2GB for $30/month and 5GB for $50/month.

T-Mobile - You may have seen T-Mobile's offer of 200MB elsewhere on TechRadar, and you can bet your last dollar the Un-carrier is carrying the deal to the new iPad. If you need a little more cellular data to tap, try 2.5GB for $30/month or 4.5GB for $40/month. Additional data can come in as low as $10/month.

Sprint - The carrier is serving up its own trio of cellular data options for the iPad Air. Snag 1GB for $14.99/month, 3GB for $34.99/month and 6GB for $49.99/month. The carrier confirmed it will start selling the Air on November 1.

Apple Store - Both online and in retails stores, you can pick up the iPad Air now. Apple stores opened at 8 a.m. local time just for the occasion.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple is matching Walmart's $20 discount on the entry-level 16GB iPad Air, at least in brick-and-mortar stores, bringing the ticket price down to $479.

The other guys

U.S. Cellular - November 8. Mark that date in your calendar if you want to pick up the iPad Air on U.S. Cellular's regional network.

Walmart - The mega-retailer up and running with its iPad Air sales. Walmart is offering a bit of a discount, knocking $20 off the price of the 16GB version, taking it down to $479. No word yet on discounts for other storage options.

RadioShack - The Shack is floating out a nice trade-in deal for the Air, letting customers who bring in their older slates can trade it in for up to $225. That dollar amount depends on the models - an iPad 2 will score you $125 and an iPad mini will nab you $150, according to CNET. It's a decent stash to have in the bank for a future iPad Air or other product.

You'll have to travel in-store to get the iPad Air, by the way. No online orders.

Staples - Pick up some pens and an iPad Air at Staples starting today for the starting price of $479 (thanks for the inspiration, Walmart).

Best Buy - The blue and yellow tag is selling the iPad Air in every configuration you can imagine, plus there's word the retailer will match the $479 price for the base 16GB model.

C Spire - The Mississippi-based regional carrier threw its hat in the iPad Air ring on October 25, announcing it's plans to carry the iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular when the tablet becomes available "in the coming weeks." The tablet will be able to jump on its 4G LTE network, but the carrier only servers four states. More info on its plans is available at its website.

Bluegrass Cellular - Fellow regional carrier Bluegrass chimed up on Twitter that it too will carry the iPad Air "soon." Bluegrass is based (can you guess?) in Kentucky, so again your coverage is limited. Grab more details at its website.

GCI - Alaskan carrier GCI has its sights set on the Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular too, so look for the tab waaay up north in the coming weeks. You can get more details right here.