Apple Inc. (AAPL): Guessing About Retina iPad Mini Availability

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) officially put the iPad Mini with Retina display up for sale last week, but it’s anyone’s guess how good the tablet’s supply is. Early numbers suggest it isn’t so great, although it is difficult to tell. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian J. White was hoping the Retina iPad Mini would be available “in volume” at Apple Stores in a couple of days, and he says that is still possible. However, he expects Apple to up the volume no later than Black Friday next week.

White estimates supply for Apple’s Retina iPad Mini

The analyst notes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s decision to clandestinely launch preorders of the iPad Mini with Retina display. Then there was a “personal pickup” option at some Apple Stores for those who ordered the tablet online. However, his checks suggested “limited availability” on the very first day this option was offered. He thinks the secrecy in the Retina iPad Mini launch is due to poor supply.

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Checking Apple’s “personal pickup” option

White conducted a survey to gauge the availability of the iPad Mini with Retina display under the “personal pickup” option. He only looked at the Wi-Fi models in his survey, which covered 172 Apple Stores in the U.S. That’s about 65 to 70% of U.S. apple stores. There are four different capacity amounts in the tablet—16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB—and they come in silver and space gray models.

The analyst’s survey suggested that just 27% of the eight possible Retina iPad Mini models were available for personal pickup. He says this suggests that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s supply is “very constrained.”

Which Retina iPad Minis are most available

The 32 GB models are the ones that were most easily found, while the jumbo-size 128 GB models were the most difficult to find. White reports that 72% of Apple Stores had both colors of the 32 GB model available for personal pickup. The silver model was more easily found than the space gray model, however, with 76% of the stores in their survey reporting it as available. That’s compared to 69% of stores which had the space gray model. Only 7% of stores indicated that they had the 128 GB iPad Mini with Retina display available for pickup.

The analyst continues to rate Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a Buy with a $777 per share price target.