LTE-enabled Retina iPad minis start arriving to Apple Stores

2013 iPad mini 2 (Retina, Four up, hand)

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…

MacRumors first reported on the arrival of cellular-capable Retina iPad minis.

While Apple retail stores in several other countries did have stocks of the cellular-capable Retina iPad mini at launch yesterday, the company’s U.S. stores did not have any available.

Model selection is currently very limited and many stores have yet to show any available cellular models, but availability should improve over time as Apple delivers more stock to its stores.

Here’s a snapshot of cellular device availability.


The iPad mini with Retina display launched yesterday.

Indicating tight supply amid yield issues plaguing the 7.9-inch Retina screen, Apple hasn’t allowed walk-in purchases. Instead, would-be buyers are required to purchase the device online for in-store pickup.

The Retina iPad mini features literally the same design, hardware features and capabilities of its bigger brother, the iPad Air, the only difference being the form factor.

IPad mini 2 (Retina, iFixit teardown 002)

According to iFixit’s teardown analysis, the first batch of devices is outfitted with an LG Display-produced Retina screen though Apple is expected to switch to Samsung as LG Display’s output levels are “not close to full production” yet.

Some early adopters in the U.K. today reported getting an estimated delivery date of November 15 as orders start shipping directly from China. Folks in the United States are mentioning November 18 and November 21 delivery estimates.

The online Apple Store currently quotes an estimated one to three business days for 16/32GB Retina iPad mini orders, with the higher-capacity 64/128GB variants listed with a shipping estimate of five to ten business days.

Just yesterday, both 32GB and 64GB models showed 3-5 day shipping.

Retina iPad mini forecast (Apple Store shipping estimates 001)

LTE-capable minis cost an additional $130 versus their Wi-Fi-only counterparts.

If you’re going to get a Retina iPad mini, you really can’t go wrong with a cellular model.

A device that compact and portable wants to be used everywhere and Apple’s robust implementation of LTE enables confidence knowing one can just pick up one’s device and be online in an instant.

Although I’ve never owned a cellular iPad before, it is for the aforementioned reason that I’ll be picking up an LTE-capable iPad Air.