AT&T (T) said Friday it will start selling Apple (APPL) iPads directly to its business customers later this month. The iPad tablet computer, launched earlier this year, has proven hugely popular, selling at triple the pace of the iPhone when it launched in 2007.
On Oct. 28, AT&T plans to begin offering all three iPad 3G and Wi-Fi models to customers whose cellphone bills are paid by their employers. The company said Thursday that iPads would be available at its stores on that date.
AT&T is the second-largest U.S. cellphone carrier after Verizon Communications (VZ), which Thursday announced it also will sell Wi-Fi iPads starting Oct. 28.
Research firm In-Stat last month forecast that tablet-computer sales will more than double during each of the next four years.