A little more than a week after a surprise launch, walk-in customers can finally buy the Retina iPad mini from Apple retail stores. Previously, Apple Stores were only offering the Retina iPad mini for buyers who had reserved the device through Apple’s online Personal Pickup option.
Supplies of the Retina iPad mini are severely constrained due to low yield rates of the high-resolution Retina displays used in the device. While Apple has started offering the iPad mini for walk-in purchases, supplies still remain low so the Personal Pickup is still a better solution to ensure you get the device you want.
The launch of walk-in sales was noted this morning in a research note from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White, who indicated that a number of New York City stores received shipments designated for walk-in customers last night and this morning. MacRumors has confirmed that walk-in sales are now being offered in some stores, although one store contacted by MacRumors reported that it was still offering only Personal Pickup options.
In the note, White noted that 26 out of 32 Apple Stores have Retina iPad mini stock for walk-in buyers.
If you plan on going to a nearby store to purchase a Retina iPad mini, make sure you have a look at one of the online stock trackers to avoid disappointment. Apple’s online store continues to show shipping times of 5-10 business days for both Wi-Fi only and Cellular models. Availability of the Cellular model with carriers is however quite bad, with shipping estimates as much as 6-8 weeks.