Almost a month after its initial release, Retina iPad mini supply still appears to be constrained, particularly at major carrier retail stores in the U.S.
Recently an improvement was seen in the shipping times of Wi-Fi only Retina iPad mini models. Apple also opened up walk-in purchases of the tablet through its retail stores, a major indicator that the company had sufficient inventory to take this step. However, things don’t seem to have improved for major U.S. carriers. Last month it was reported that many had cellular variants of the tablet backordered, and still some carriers don’t have any inventory in their stores.
Ordering a Retina iPad mini online from AT&T right now would require a customer to wait 21-28 days for delivery, whereas Verizon has the cellular models of Retina iPad mini backordered until December 16th. The tablet is currently sold out at T-Mobile’s online store though the carrier says it will be available for shipment soon. Most retail stores of these carriers don’t have any inventory, meaning that they are losing out on prospective direct sales.
This shows the tight grip Apple has over the inventory of this tablet, which has had more than its fair share of production issues. Shipping times have improved on Apple’s online store, for both the Wi-Fi and cellular models. Moreover, almost 90 percent of Apple’s retail stores in the U.S. have the new iPad mini in stock. With supply expected to improve overall in the first quarter of 2014, one can expect that things will get better for carriers too.