It looks like the iPad 5 aka iPad Air and iPad mini 2 pre-orders are not going to happen as Apple is currently directing users to purchase the new iPad Air online or in stores in November, and is vague on the specific iPad mini 2 with Retina Display release.
Apple normally offers iPad pre-orders which allow users to order ahead of time, often late at night, and receive the iPad in their hands on release day without leaving home. For the iPhone 5s Apple stopped this practice, pushing users to line up at carrier stores and at Apple Stores on the release day, which the company highlighted while talking about the iPhone 5s today.
iPad mini 2 and iPad 5 shoppers can go look at the pricing and configuration details for the new iPads, which includes a T-Mobile option and a 128GB iPad mini model now, but don’t expect an iPad mini 2 pre-order.
The Apple website says the iPad Air is, “Available online and in Apple Retail Stores on November 1. From $499.” This is almost identical to the message Apple showed for the iPhone 5s.
The iPad mini 2, or iPad mini with Retina Display is, “Coming later in November. From $399.” This leads us to believe that Apple will announce the availability close to the November 1st iPad Air release date, and likely ask shoppers to order online or head in to a local retail store.
Some users reported Saturday delivery options from the iPhone 5s ordering, which could put the iPad Air in user hands by November 2nd for some online orders, but most users will need to wait for the iPad Air to arrive on Monday. The iPad Air could see small delays after the initial shipping rush, but analysts did not predict major shortages for this device.
The iPad mini 2 release arrives later, and could come with shortages at Apple Stores and online after the initial shipment runs out. The iPhone 5s orders are still shipping in 2-3 weeks, which means some users who order an iPhone this week will likely receive it after the iPad Air release.
We may see some third-party stores like Radio Shack, Best Buy and Target offer iPad mini 2 pre-orders or iPad Air pre-orders, but most of these are simply reservations that don’t promise an iPad on release day.
Some users may find local carrier locations offer the best chance at getting an iPad Air or iPad mini 2 without a pre-order, but only time will tell.