Although it’s getting a little bit easier to find the new iPad mini with Retina display in Apple Stores, supplies are still very constrained. Shoppers, for example, are still advised to check availability before venturing out to their local stores.
Luckily, a new web-based tracking tool has popped up that makes this process a little less tedious. Built by the team behind Seaturtle.org, the tool offers a snapshot of Retina iPad mini availability for a number of Apple Stores across the US…
“Availability of new iPad minis at US Apple Stores based on our latest checks. The number in each grid cell is minutes since that iPad mini/Apple Store combination was last checked. You can click on the cell contents to check current status. Green means it was available at the last check, red means it was not. White means we have not checked that combination (i.e. no one has requested a check of that combination).”
The site says it uses a “publicly accessible XML service on the Apple site” to check inventory—so there’s no scraping going on. That’s kind of a big deal considering Apple shut down another web tracking tool last week for scraping its web store.
Why is a website like Seaturtle.org building a Retina iPad mini tracker? Apparently the team is full of Apple fans. And the mini tracker is actually part of a larger iDevice availability tool, which can track down other late-model iPhones and iPads.
Apple launched the iPad mini with Retina display early Tuesday morning. The tablet starts at $399.