While the carriers will each carry the device, there’s a good chance that local stores might not have any in stock, or will have very few units in stock. Sprint warns that it will have “limited quantities” of the new iPad mini for the first day. Some local Verizon stores will also have issue with limited stock, some stores didn’t receive any units to sell.
Potential buyers should call stores before heading out in case they don’t have any stock. In its press release Sprint said that if local stores run out of stock of either the iPad mini or iPad fourth generation people can reserve a spot in line for the next shipment by purchasing a $50 Sprint gift card. That gift card can go towards the purchase of the iPad mini when more stock is available.
The iPad mini Wi-FI + Cellular and iPad fourth generation Wi-Fi + Cellular should also be available in Apple Stores today, though limited stock means both are likely difficult to find. Apple’s online store can only promise the iPad mini in two weeks, and the iPad fourth generation will ship in seven business days from the online store.
Best Buy, one of Apple’s biggest retail partners, still lists the iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular as “coming soon” on its website with no options for in-store pickup. The retailer won’t take orders for when it does get the device in stock, so it’s up to users to keep trying their local stores to find one.
Apple’s last big mobile device, the iPhone 5, still has a long wait online despite going on sale about two months ago. If Apple’s manufacturing partners have trouble keeping up with demand for its new devices the delayed shipping and limited stock will likely persist throughout the holidays.