Apple now allowing walk-in Retina iPad mini sales

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 22, 2013

You can now finally just waltz inside your nearest brick-and-mortar Apple Store and pick up an iPad mini with Retina display, an indication of Apple slowly buy surely catching up to demand, despite the shortages which are expected to ease in Q1 2014.

When Apple quietly and rather unceremoniously put the device on sale on November 12, it limited availability to online orders-only, which customers could either have shipped or picked up personally at a desired Apple Store.

Walk-in purchases were not possible due to high demand up until now, with LTE-enabled models only recently having started arriving to Apple’s retail outlets… Read More


Retina iPad mini shortages deepen as shipping estimates slip at U.S. carriers

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2013

Supply of Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display remains tight as the holiday season approaches fast, a new report has it. The Wi-Fi + Cellular models appear to be in short supply as the device is basically a no-show at three major United States wireless carriers – AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile. The three telcos all back-ordered on the cellular version, with shipping estimates slipping to December.

In one instance, T-Mobile is now showing the device back-ordered 6-8 weeks. As for T-Mobile and AT&T, their web stores show 6-8 week and 21-28 day delivery estimates, respectively… Read More


Review: iPad mini Smart Case

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 19, 2013

I briefly talked about Apple’s new Smart Case for the iPad mini in yesterday’s iPad mini with Retina display review, but after giving it some thought, I think it deserves some more attention.

Let me just start out by saying that I’ve not used the Smart Case for the full sized iPad Air, so I can’t really speak on that. In fact, this is my first experience with a Smart Case. I’ve used Smart Covers plenty of times in the past, but never opted for a Smart Case until now. Read More


Some early adopters complaining about screen burn-in on their Retina iPad mini

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 15, 2013

An unknown portion of the first batch of Retina iPad minis coming out of assembly line is apparently plagued with the screen retention problem, reports from disgruntled users claim. Every Apple product launch is marred with teething issues, though this one is more than skin-deep. As we reported, Korea’s ETNews blamed the issues last week on production woes with Sharp-made IGZO Retina panels.

Manufacturing issues have apparently prompted Apple to negotiate with Samsung Display for the supply of 7.9-inch Retina screens starting next year, as Samsung’s display-making unit “was the first to solve the technological problem”. At the heart of the issue is malfunctioning of Sharp’s thin-film transistor screen technology… Read More


Use this web tool to track Retina iPad mini availability in the US

By Cody Lee on Nov 14, 2013

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, the tool offers a snapshot of Retina iPad mini availability for a number of Apple Stores across the US… Read More


LTE-enabled Retina iPad minis start arriving to Apple Stores

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013

Yesterday, credible analysts cautioned fans to brace themselves for tight supply of the iPad mini with Retina display throughout the entire holiday quarter, as evidenced by Apple making Wi-Fi models available for in-store pickup only and based on supply chain chatter. Part of the stagerred roll-out, LTE-capable devices have now started slowly but surely trickling into Apple’s retail stores in the United States.

As you could imagine, quantities are limited so not all outlets carry cellular minis yet… Read More


Retina iPad mini teardown: LG Display Retina panel, larger battery, A7 and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013

Yesterday, I wondered on Twitter what was taking the repair magicians over at iFixit so long to do their ritual teardown of Apple’s stealthily-released iPad mini with Retina display. My prayers have been listened to as iFixit has torn apart the device, revealing its guts and components for the whole world to see. As you could imagine, they found an Apple-designed A7 chip inside, slightly underclocked versus the iPad Air.

On top of that, there are usual suspects in terms of wireless and supporting chips. As for the titular update to this iPad mini – the Retina display – the teardown analysis has identified an LG Display-supplied 7.9-inch in-plane switching LCD with a 2,048-by-1,536 screen resolution.

While the resolution is the same as the iPad 3/4/Air, the images are crisper at 326 pixels per inch (264 ppi on the iPad Air) due to a shrunken form factor, as noted MacStories editor Federico Viticci noted in his hands-on article.

Other tidbits follow… Read More


Retina iPad mini: first shipments due Friday, tight supply until 2014

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013

Have you ordered your iPad mini with Retina display yet? If you’re still on the fence of buying the device, make up your mind sooner than later because the popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is expecting tight supply this holiday season.

Kuo is very reliable and this is the first time he posted estimates of the numbers so it pays to take his remarks at face value. Corroborating his analysis, Rhoda Alexander of IHS iSupply cautions that shipments of the supply-constrained device won’t double until the first quarter of next year, meaning shortages are to be expected throughout the Christmas quarter.

Meanwhile, early adopters are now reporting receiving an Apple Store-estimated delivery date of this coming Friday, November 15. Jump past the fold for the full reveal… Read More


Wi-Fi models of Retina iPad mini now available for pickup at some Apple Stores

By Cody Lee on Nov 12, 2013

When the iPad mini with Retina display first went up for sale on Apple’s web store this morning, the option to pick it up in-store was not available. Customers could only choose between shipping methods, with estimates ranging from 1-10 days depending on the model.

But this has changed for some folks over the past few hours. A number of Apple Stores across the US and other launch countries are now showing that Wi-Fi models of the new mini are available for Personal Pickup, meaning you could order the tablet and pick it up today…  Read More


Walmart’s Black Friday sale: $100 gift card with iPad mini purchase, $75 with iPhone

By Cody Lee on Nov 12, 2013

And they’re off! With Black Friday now just a few weeks away, retailers have begun teasing their after-Thanksgiving-day sales in hopes of convincing hordes of customers to visit their stores on the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

We’ve already seen a preview of Target’s sale, which offers the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad Air for $479 with a free $100 gift card, and other discounts. And now, Walmart has published a snippet of its Black Friday specials showing a similar offer… Read More


Retina iPad mini’s A7 chip slightly underclocked versus iPad Air

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2013

In a surprise non-announcement, Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display has unexpectedly gone on sale this morning. For the time being, the device is available online for shipping or with in-store pick-up.

What you can’t do (yet) is just walk in and purchase one due to supply constraints and ongoing manufacturing woes as Apple is “working hard” to meet demand. Availability issues aside, what’s there to get excited about the device?

For The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple, the answer is simple: the iPad mini with Retina display is a no-compromise play – thou shall no longer sacrifice clarity for portability as the tablet packs in the same Retina display like its bigger brother, the iPad Air.

In fact, the only difference between the two is the screen size as the new iPad mini runs the same A7 processor that debuted on the iPhone 5s and made its way into the iPad Air. And just how speedy is the Retina iPad mini vs. the iPhone 5s and iPad Air?

Here are the first benchmark scores… Read More


Walk-in Retina iPad mini purchases unavailable, Apple ‘working hard’ to meet demand

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2013

Those of you who just woke up needn’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with the Internet today – Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display has indeed made a surprise debut. As Cody told you, the highly anticipated tablet has unexpectedly been available as of midnight Pacific Time on November 12, arriving without too much noise on Apple’s part aside from a quiet website update and a press release.

It would appear that the combination of pent-up demand and production issues prompted Apple to limit launch availability to online orders or Personal Pickup in the case of retail stores, implying you can’t just waltz inside your nearest Apple Store and buy a Retina iPad mini… Read More


iPad mini with Retina display now available for order

By Cody Lee on Nov 12, 2013

If you are looking to pickup an iPad mini with Retina display, you’re going to want to head over to your Apple web store as soon as possible. The highly anticipated tablet just went on sale, starting at $399.

The move has caught both tech pundits and consumers off guard, as up until now, Apple has maintained that the new mini’s launch date would be ‘later in November.’ Well, Christmas came early this year… Read More


Online Apple stores go down amidst rumors of November 12 Retina iPad mini launch

By Cody Lee on Nov 11, 2013

Either Apple is trolling all of us very hard with a late-night maintenance session, or recent reports of the Retina iPad mini launching on November 12 are true. All of Apple’s online stores have been offline for over an hour now.

Earlier tonight, a post was spotted on Apple’s internal GSX (global service exchange) site for service providers and third-party vendors stating that the company is preparing to launch its second-generation iPad mini tomorrow… Read More


Apple to launch iPad mini with Retina display on November 12?

By Cody Lee on Nov 11, 2013

When Apple took the wraps off its new iPad mini with Retina display last month, it wouldn’t provide a concrete launch date beyond ‘later in November.’ Some have speculated that it would hit store shelves just before Black Friday weekend.

But according to a posting on Apple’s GSX (global service exchange) site for service providers, we may see the tablet as early as tomorrow. In the post, Apple says that it plans to launch the tablet in the US and other countries on November 12… Read More


Screen burn-ins apparently causing delayed Retina iPad mini launch

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2013

Apple’s web page advertises the new iPad mini with Retina display as coming in late November. In Apple’s parlance, that’s probably November 29, a Friday. Apple’s penchant for making new products available shortly following the announcement was not on display at the October 22 media event as the company said the new iPad mini would not launch alongside the iPad Air.

We already heard that Apple was looking to both LG Display and Samsung as the primary iPad mini screen supplier Sharp has been experiencing issues producing high-resolution 7.9-inch IGZO panels, causing limited supplies at launch. A new report alleges Sharp’s LCD panels are actually suffering from burn-in problems, prompting Apple once again to seek help from arch-rival Samsung… Read More


T-Mobile clears up the confusion around no-interest iPad financing and free 200MB data

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2013

T-Mobile has caused quite a stir announcing carrying the new iPads with no downpayment, especially the promise of 200MB of free LTE data for life for those who opt for cellular models, as long as they remain customers.

Our own Jeff Benjamin praised T-Mobile’s un-carrier move, noting no other U.S. wireless company has offered free data to iPad users.

The controversy was born after some customers complained that T-Mobile reps told them they couldn’t claim 200MB worth of free monthly data unless they were paying phone customers. Otherwise, it’s a $10 a month On Demand plan charge and T-Mobile CEO John Legere calling it an “executional mistake” didn’t help.

So, what exactly is going on here? Is the 200MB free tier a bait and switch or a legitimate offer, with some strings attached? We lay it all out for you right after the break… Read More


Some thoughts on iPad Air

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 4, 2013

The iPad Air is without a doubt one of Apple’s most marvelous engineering feats to date. It features a huge screen with a slimmer bezel than previous full sized iPads. It provides an immersive experience that just can’t be achieved on the minuscule iPad mini.

It’s also much lighter than its predecessors, which is obviously something desirable to anyone who’s held a full sized iPad in their hands for any nominal length of time. It’s not just lighter and slimmer and thinner — it feels like a completely different product.

But before I take it too far, let me just say outright that regular iPad mini users won’t be as impressed by the weight loss. It’s still significantly larger, heavier, and harder to handle than the iPad mini, which may lead to disappointment for the looking into getting back into full sized iPads.

I too, suffered from such disappointment, but it was short lived after I took the time to appreciate that the iPad Air isn’t the mini, and never pretended it was. It’s a full sized tablet in a marvelously well put together package, and it’s definitely something you should consider picking up if you want the “true” iPad experience.

As primal as it may seem, there’s just something to be said about using a device whose screen is large and in charge. The iPad Air is sort of like holding a television in your hands, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given its slimness and light weight.

If you’ve yet to take the plunge, then what should you do? Should you go into the Apple Store and compare both side by side? Should you give Apple’s 14 day return policy a go, and spend some quality time with the Air? Check inside for my opinions on the matter. Read More


Target product listing pegs Retina iPad mini launch for November 21

By Cody Lee on Oct 31, 2013

While Apple continues to keep mum on a specific release date for its iPad mini with Retina display—as of now, it’s sticking with ‘November’—retail giant Target is expecting the tablet to launch the third week in November.

More specifically, November 21. The company let the date slip in its online product listing for the Retina iPad mini at, where it lists the release date for the device as the Thursday in the week before Thanksgiving… Read More


Southwest Airline and Dish launch iPad 2 loan program ahead of holiday travels

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 29, 2013

Just in time for the maddening holiday travel rush, one U.S. airline has announced plans to provide flyers with a loaner iPad and satellite programming. The ‘DISH Anywhere’ offer by Southwest Airlines and the satellite television network is available to passenger flying between Denver, Oakland and Chicago.

The iPad 2 loaner program follows Southwest’s earlier Watch on the Fly service, bringing free DISH programming to airline customers owning an iDevice… Read More

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