For weeks, rumors suggested that Apple had two new iPads up its sleeve for the holidays, a redesigned iPad 5 and a new iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display. Today, Apple made good on those rumors, announcing a new fifth-generation, 9.7-inch iPad Air and a brand new iPad mini 2 that will indeed be coming with a Retina Display. Ahead of the iPad mini 2 release date, we take a look at all of the pertinent details that consumers need to know about.
For much of 2013, rumors suggested that Apple was planning to deliver two brand new iPads to replace the iPad mini and iPad 4 that it announced back in October of last year. Over the past few weeks, those rumors firmed up as Apple announced a highly anticipated launch event set for October 22nd in San Francisco.
Today, that launch event arrived and Apple took the curtain down from around a number of new products including the OS X Mavericks release, new Mac Pro, the new MacBook Pro, and two brand new iPads. The new iPads were arguably the stars of the show and Apple saved them for last. The first, a full-sized iPad Air, formerly known as the iPad 5, a device that will arrive on November 1st starting at $499. It features a number of upgrades including an A7 chip, better camera and a sleek new design aimed at making it far more portable than the iPad 4.
The iPad mini 2 is going to slot in where the old iPad mini used to be though it will be doing so with an arsenal of improvements including a brand new, high-resolution Retina Display, a feature that iPad buyers had been hoping for. The iPad mini 2 will also be coming with an A7 chip, an improved iSight camera and a design that is similar to the original model.
Apple’s new iPad mini is slated for an arrival in November and here, ahead of its release, we breakdown everything there is to know about the iPad mini 2 release date.
iPad mini 2 Release Date
Rumors heading into the iPad mini 2 launch event pointed to major supply issues that could have a great impact on the iPad mini 2 release date. While Apple didn’t confirm these rumors, it did not announce a specific iPad mini 2 release date, instead, choosing to say that the device will be released later during the month of November.
It’s uncharacteristic for Apple to debut a device without a specific release date so it’s clear that there is something at work here, probably issues getting supply to match demand. Whatever the case, it means that iPad mini 2 buyers are going to have to wait a few weeks before the iPad mini 2 hits shelves.
We expect that the release date will be revealed well in advance, giving buyers ample time to prepare for the iPad mini 2 release date. How soon is anyone’s guess, but Apple only gives concrete days when it can stick to a date. So it could be a few days before we see anything announced.
When the device does go on sale, it will likely emerge in Apple Stores at 8AM PST on its release date. Apple Stores tend to open early to cater to those who want to get the device on day one.
iPad mini 2 Pre-Orders
At this point, it’s hard to say if Apple will offer pre-orders for the iPad mini 2. The company did not announce a pre-sale date at the iPad event and thus far, the only clue that we have is that the iPad Air won’t go up for pre-order, instead following in the footsteps of the iPhone 5s launch. So, at this point, we don’t expect Apple to offer any early ordering period.
If it does, expect pre-orders to start about a week before its November release date, and expect those pre-orders to begin at 12AM PST. If it doesn’t offer pre-orders, expect the device to go on sale at 12AM PST on its release date in November, offering buyers a chance to buy online. Those who don’t choose to order online will have to brave Apple Stores on its release day.
There Will Be Lines
While the intriguing iPad Air should deflect some attention away from the iPad mini 2, this is still a device that should garner a whole lot of attention now that it has some powerful upgrades including a Retina Display. Even with the release date likely landing on a day different than the iPad Air’s November 1st release date, we still expect there to be lines.
One, because stock should still be scarce, even with the extra time that Apple has given itself. And second, because some people simply won’t or don’t want to wake up early to place an order on its release date. So, while there may not be intense lines at retailers or carrier stores, if they wind up offering the new iPad mini, Apple Stores, particularly flagship ones, should see crowds.
Thus far, we haven’t seen any word from retailers about the iPad mini 2 release date and we don’t expect to hear anything for several weeks given Apple’s release date window of later in November. If Apple does allow retailers to carry the iPad mini 2, there are two scenarios. One, the device is available through places like Best Buy and RadioShack on day one. The other, it arrives a few days after its release date.
We expect retailers to announce their plans in the weeks ahead. With a release date several weeks away, those hoping for an announcement in the near future should temper their expectations.
iPad Mini 2 Carriers
Finally, those looking to snag the iPad mini 2 with LTE speeds will be able to do so through the Apple Store, at the very least. We still haven’t seen its official carriers, a list that includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, confirm anything for arrival but it’s still possible that we could see them gear up for the November release date.
At the very least, Apple Stores will have the LTE iPad mini 2 on hand and here is how pricing is going to breakdown for those looking to buy the iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi only or the LTE model come November.
- iPad mini 2 16GB – $399.99
- iPad mini 2 32GB – $499.99
- iPad mini 2 64GB – $599.99
- iPad mini 2 128GB – $699.99
- iPad mini 2 LTE 16GB – $529.99
- iPad mini 2 LTE 32GB – $629.99
- iPad mini 2 LTE 64GB – $729.99
- iPad mini 2 LTE 128GB – $829.99
All eight of these options will be available for the four major carriers. AT&T and Verizon currently have the largest 4G LTE networks, trailed by Sprint and T-Mobile, both of which plan to get their LTE roll out complete by the time 2014 comes to an end.