Fewer than a third of Apple’s new iPad Mini retina models are currently available for in-store pickup, according to a survey of 172 Apple stores around the U.S.
Which means that not only is the Mini retina in hot demand, it’s also in very, very short supply.
“With four capacity models (i.e., 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB) available in both Silver and Space Gray, only 27 percent of these eight different Wi-Fi models were available for Personal Pickup, according to our survey,” Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White said in a research note this morning. “In our view, this clearly points to a very constrained supply situation.”
The Mini “stealth launch” began seven days ago in almost-unprecedented secrecy with pre-orders on Apple’s website. And backorder shipping times quickly reached 5-10 days, with November 20-22 arrival dates most likely.
According to White’s 172-store survey, the least-available retina Mini is the 128GB version in space gray — only 7 percent of U.S. stores had orderable stock. The most available model is the silver 32GB model. The same constraints may not apply in other countries — a quick check of the Canadian Apple store indicates that the cheapest iPad Mini is still available to ship in the minimum 1-3 days.
According to White, Apple “must” make more iPad Mini retinas available for Black Friday shopping, in just a few days, so it’s possible Apple is withholding some models in order have more stock for the coming shopping weekend.