iPad Air goes on sale around the world, though you’ll have to wait for the Mini

Apple iPad Air Silver

Check out our Apple iPad Air tablet review.

Apple’s latest iPad, the Air, has been going on sale in countries around the world overnight, with customers in Australia, Japan, and China, for example, already walking out of stores clutching their new tablet. By Saturday, 42 countries will be selling the revamped device – the biggest ever launch for an Apple tablet.

However, those hoping to pick up the new iPad Mini, complete with its Retina display, will be out of luck – Apple has so far been unable to offer a specific launch date for the diminutive slate because of an issue in the supply chain, though it is expected to appear on shelves before the month is through, with November 21 cited by some commentators as a possible launch date.

Cnet on Friday morning reported a line outside the Sydney, Australia Apple store as “noticeably shorter” than what was seen for the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C last month, though apparently there were still “several hundred people….in a line that stretched right around the block.”

Instagram snapper Peter Marks (via Pocket-lint) grabbed a shot of who we assume is the first iPad Air buyer in the world. The young lad (pictured below) is shown exiting the store showing off his new tablet to waiting media, with Apple staff in the background applauding his handing over of at least 598 Aussie dollars.

ipad air buyer

The new Air has been getting rave reviews across the board, winning praise for its slimmed-down, lighter design, and improved performance.

As for the Mini, earlier this week, Apple boss Tim Cook appeared to confirm recent rumors pointing to a shortage of the refreshed tablet, admitting during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call that he couldn’t be sure there would be enough Mini devices in the run up to Christmas.

Cook’s comments followed those of a number of analysts who’ve been suggesting the Mini will be in short supply, among them the director of Tablet and Monitor Research at market research firm IHS iSuppli, who said, “The supply for that product is severely constrained,” adding that it may not be until the first quarter of 2014 that we’ll see “meaningful volume.”

A recent Digitimes report suggested Sharp was at the center of the supply shortage, with the electronics company apparently having difficulties keeping up to speed with the manufacture of the new 7.9-inch Retina display panel. Sharp is said to be responsible for the production of about 40 percent of the displays, while LG is taking care of the rest. No issues have up to now been reported on LG’s side.

Apple’s website says only that the Mini will be coming “later in November,” so if you’re keen to get your hands on one, sit tight – and act fast when they show up.

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