Amid mounting rumors of supply constraints, Apple now allows customers to purchase a Retina iPad mini from its retail stores without ordering one online first.
Apple released the Retina iPad mini rather quietly on November 12. Back then, it only let customers purchase the tablet online and have it shipped or have it reserved for pick up at a local Apple Retail Store. Apple didn’t allow customers to just walk in to a store and purchase a Retina iPad mini without having ordered it first. This was presumably because the company was juggling supply constraints, but seeing that it now allows such purchases, it shows that Apple is confident that it has enough supply to deal with the added demand.
Only recently it was reported that three out of the four major U.S. carriers are backordered on the cellular models of the Retina iPad mini. Carriers’ retail stores are out of stock and their online stock show shipping estimates of as much as a few weeks. Even on Apple’s own online store, the Wi-Fi only Retina iPad mini shows a shipping estimate of 5-10 business days. Its evident that supplies are quite tight, and it will be interesting to see how Apple manages it all during the particularly hectic holiday shopping season.
Analysts expect that the Retina iPad mini supply should improve in Q1, 2014. Till then, customers and the company will keep at it in the demand and supply dance.
Source: Cult of Mac