We’ve known that the iPad mini with Retina display would be in limited stock, and even after over a week of being available, you can still only order one from Apple’s website. Carrier versions are available, but carrier stores themselves are still having a hard time getting units of their own to sell, and most carriers are seeing backorders into December and possibly January.
According to CNET, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all seeing backorders that will last for weeks, even though Apple’s own supply for LTE-equipped iPad minis continues to improve over time. Verizon’s estimates say that availability is pushed back to December 2, with AT&T stating a ship time of 21 to 28 business days, while T-Mobile is back-ordered for an estimated 6 to 8 weeks.
Apple, on the other hand, is seeing only a 5-10 business day wait for those who order their new iPad mini directly from the source, so that’s pretty much your best bet if you’re wanting to get one quickly. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple’s suppliers will be able to catch up with demand sometime early next year.
The iPad mini with Retina display was quietly launched last week on November 12, which is an odd thing for Apple to do, seeing as how it usually announces a launch date for its devices. However, knowing that the new tablet would be in limited stock, Apple wanted to keep the hype down somewhat, so the company released the Retina iPad mini early in the morning last week, and so far, shipping estimates haven’t slipped yet.
The new iPad mini comes with a new Apple A7 processor and a better battery, but the biggest improvement has to be the display, which is now a 2048×1536 Retina display that many iPad mini buyers wanted from the start. It’s said that the display has been the hardest component to keep in supply when manufacturing the tablet, so that’s likely the culprit for limited stock.