Here it comes: iPad Mini sales start in New Zealand

When Apple announced that sales of the new iPad Mini would begin at 8am on November 2, residents of New Zealand hoping to get their hands on the new device knew they’d be the first to have the opportunity to do so, beating their San Francisco counterparts by 20 hours thanks to the beauty of time zones.

And so, as the sun goes down on the US on November 1, plenty of customers in the South Pacific country have already unboxed their diminutive iPad and have likely made up their mind as to whether it lives up to the hype.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, New Zealand doesn’t have an official Apple store, leaving resellers to deal with expectant Apple fans.

“I don’t know who will have what (products) where in New Zealand but the retailers will certainly be able to open their doors so people can come in and touch and play straight away,” Apple spokeswoman Fiona Martin told the WSJ.

Kiwi James Griffin tweeted a photo of himself holding aloft his new 7.9-inch iPad Mini, delivering his verdict a couple of hours later: “Love it! It’s the perfect size.”

The device marks Apple’s entry into the smaller-tablet market, taking on the likes of Google with its Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon with its range of Kindle Fire devices.

The Mini, however, is a pricier proposition than its rivals, with, for example, the $329 16GB model going for $130 more than the 16GB Nexus 7.

The latest addition to Apple’s range of gadgets is 53 percent thinner than the full-size iPad, and just 7.2mm thick. Apple decided to leave out its high-definition Retina display with the Mini’s 7.9-inch screen, going instead for a 1024 x 768 resolution with a pixel density of 163ppi.

Many industry watchers are interested to see to what extent sales of the Mini affect those of its big brother, and how that might impact Apple’s overall financial performance.

[via MacRumors]