Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPad Mini may be facing the same supply constraints that dragged down the sales of iPhone 5 last quarter. Pre-orders for iPad Mini began 12 a.m.. Pacific (3 a.m. Eastern,) but within 20 minutes the status changed to “Available to ship: 2 weeks.” By 12:27 a.m. in the United States, the Apple store’s words “delivers 11/2” became “available to ship: 2 weeks” for the 64GB white model. By 12:55 a.m., all the white models showed 2-week shipment dates, though the black iPad Minis kept their November 2 delivery date.
The initial stock of White iPad minis sold out quickly in the U.S., but the black model was still promised to be delivered by Apple’s online store, in all three memory configurations, by 11/2. White versions of Apple products have traditionally been viewed as more exclusive. One example of this is the white iPhone 4, which reached the market almost one year after the black version.
Following the tradition of keeping a sizable stock of devices to be available on the official launch day of products, Apple is expected to offer the iPad mini in retail stores on launch day, i.e. November 2nd, for Wi-Fi iPad mini and mid-November for the cellular version.
The iPhone maker announced the specifications of its new mini-tablet on Tuesday this week. The base 16GB WiFi-only model comes with a price tag of £269, while 32GB model will cost £349, and the 64GB model £429.
Carriers also sell iPads, but a survey of a half dozen showed none promoting or selling the iPad Mini yet. Tablets have become a huge revenue generator for Apple, with 14 million iPads sold last quarter, though not as big as its iPhone business, with 26.9 million.
The iPad Mini has a 1024×768-pixel screen, which is a 7.9-inch. diagonal compared to 9.7 inches for the regular iPad. It is equipped with Apple’s A5 processor, compared to A6 in the iPhone 5 and the A6X in the fourth-generation iPad. The new tablet has a front-facing 720p-capable FaceTime camera and a 5-megapixel back camera; 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi at 5.2GHz; Bluetooth 4.0; and Apple’s smaller new Lightning connector.