Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Apple begins selling iPad mini with Retina display, but not in its retail stores

Apple has released the iPad mini with Retina display (or iPad mini 2) to retail. It did so in some surprising ways: First, it didn't telegraph the move at all, but announced it on the day of sales, Nov. 12. Secondly, the device cannot be purchased in Apple retail stores directly. Instead you have order it online and then use "Personal Pickup."

Personal Pickup, of course, depends on whether or not local Apple stores have the device in-stock and unallocated. To do this, put the item in your cart, then "Checkout." There you can request shipment or pickup. Pickup is probably going to be an issue for many.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, as of Tuesday morning every Apple store said "Unavailable for pickup." Apple's press release said:
iPad mini with Retina display is available to order through the Apple Online Store ( 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.
The Big Four carriers will, of course, get a smaller allocation than Apple stores, meaning that if Apple is already sold out, chances of finding Apple's smaller-sized tablet at a Big Four store are not good.

Why the strange release? This is the first time that Apple has launched a device without in-store buying (sans Personal Pickup) available. Rumors have flown about supply issues with the iPad mini 2, and in Apple's most recent earnings call,
CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that "it's not clear that everyone who wants one will be able to find one" this holiday shopping season.

In a statement, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said:
We’re working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers.
Apple's iPad mini with Retina display starts at $399 for the WiFi-only, 16GB model. The company continues to sell the first generation, starting at $299.

No comments: