In an uncharacteristic move Apple launched a sneak attack last night when it put the new iPad mini with Retina Display on sale after late day rumors pointing to the release. Online orders went live at midnight Pacific Coast time. Shipping times for 16GB and 32GB WiFi only models was listed at that time as 1 to 3 days, with larger capacities and cellular models listed as shipping in 5 to 10 days. Of course that begged the question as to when they would be available in stores, given the many rumors about supply issues not allowing Apple to meet initial demand. In a press release this morning Apple says that Personal Pickup options will be available for in store pickup.
iPad mini with Retina display is available to order through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com) to ship or through Personal Pickup at Apple’s retail stores, and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
As of this writing, you can order online for shipping and though the Apple Store says the iPad mini with Retina Display is available for Personal Pickup, it is not showing as available in US Stores.
UPDATE: Frederico Viticci used the Personal Pickup in Italy and confirmed that the iPad mini with Retina Display was available for pickup in Italy. So we may be seeing rolling availability as the hours and days go forward and shipments arrive.
UPDATE 2: I just spoke with an Apple Store employee who told me Personal Pickup will show as available once stores receive stock. Which they haven’t yet. When asked when shipments were expected, the answer was “we don’t know.” Several stores in the Eastern Time Zone of the US are showing Personal Pickup available for some WiFi only models in smaller capacities.
This might turn in to a game of check the store frequently if you’re trying to get one in an Apple Store. It also appears that customers won’t be able to just walk in and purchase the new device with a Personal Pickup purchase, at least at the beginning of the new model going on sale.
There is still no word from carriers and other retailers as to availability in other locations.
Regardless, Apple fulfilled its “coming later in November” promise, and managed, as it looks presently, to avoid the madness of releasing on Black Friday. Given the “sneak attack” launch of availability this is story is still a moving target. Things will undoubtedly clarify soon as to availability. What seems certain is that there are supply issues constraining available units, so you might need to be on your toes if you were thinking on purchasing an iPad mini with Retina Display this holiday season.