Earlier this month, Apple announced its new 7.9-inch iPad mini which will be joining the iPad fourth-generation on shelves this holiday season. Like many iOS-powered products, the iPad mini sold out of pre-orders rather quickly ahead of its release date of November 2nd. Those that didn’t put in a pre-order, and want it on release day will have to look to retail stores in order to get one. Here is everything you need to know about buying an iPad mini this Friday.
The Wi-Fi only version of the iPad mini will be heading to shelves starting this Friday, November 2nd and with it, it will be bringing Apple’s first smaller screened slate. All previous iPad models have featured a 9.7-inch display. The iPad mini on the other hand features a 7.9-inch display, with same resolution as the iPad 2 display. It also comes with an aluminum and glass design, similar to the iPhone 5, as well as iOS 6.
Consumers gobbled up all of the iPad mini pre-orders within hours of their release and those that didn’t get to place an order are stuck waiting for the iPad mini release date in just a couple of days.
Unlike the iPad mini pre-order, the device will be available in outlets other than Apple’s online store which means that those looking to snag a Wi-Fi only model for the holidays should have a good chance of snagging one come November 2nd.
Here are all of the places that you should be able to pick up an iPad mini on Friday.
Apple Stores around the country will be stocked with the new iPad mini on Friday and they will likely be customers best bet on snagging a brand new 7.9-inch iPad on November 2nd.
Unfortunately though, Apple Stores aren’t everywhere and that means that consumers who live in more rural areas might have to make a bit of a drive to get in line, if there are any lines. For those that are unsure about whether there is an Apple retail location nearby, head to Apple’s website to check.
It’s unclear whether or not there will be any lines for the iPad mini release, at this point we’re leaning toward slim lines to none, but it’s still smart to plan to get there ahead of the doors opening.
Apple retail locations will open their doors at 8AM local time but we suggest getting there at least an hour before the doors open.
We have confirmed that Best Buy will not only be carrying the iPad mini on its release day but that it will be opening its doors early at 8AM local time to celebrate its launch day. And probably to sell a few iPad minis.
Best Buy may be offering the iPad mini but that doesn’t mean that it will have tons of stock. Rather, stores may see their stock depleted rather quickly so it’s best to head down early in order to make sure there is enough stock.
We recommend heading to larger Best Buy locations as they generally have more stock available. It’s also smart to call ahead of time in order to see what kind of a wait there might be and how much stock might be available.
The device should be available on Best Buy’s website as well though that is unconfirmed.
While we haven’t heard anything from Target just yet, we have found a listing for the iPad mini on its website with a release date showing November 2nd.
That could mean that the retailer will be offering the device online on November 2nd. We haven’t heard anything concrete about any in-store offerings so at this point, Target is only a maybe for iPad mini release day.
We talked to several RadioShack’s today who gave us an assortment of answers when we asked whether they had iPad mini stock. One store claimed that it was taking pre-orders for the Verizon 4G LTE iPad mini, with a shipping date late in November, while another claimed that we could come in and they would order one for us online.
Needless to say, neither of those seem to add up so at this point it’s probably safer to assume that RadioShack won’t have stock available.
We’ve reached out to it and will update this when we hear back.
Another usual suspect, Walmart, has not announced anything yet either. We have reached out for comment and again, we’ll let you know what we hear.
It’s clear at this point that consumers safest options are Apple Stores and Best Buy locations as the other three remain fairly suspect.
Those who want the iPad mini in time for the holidays would be smart to at least consider picking one up at an Apple Store or Best Buy as shipping times could possibly move back even further through Apple’s online store.
Currently, there is a two week shipping wait on all Wi-Fi models.
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.