After a bit of delay, Apple has finally launched the iPad Mini with Retina display – the second iteration of the 7.9-inch tablet.
The Cupertino company’s online store was inaccessible for a couple of hours early Tuesday, before returning at about 3am ET with the iPad Mini up for sale.
Prices for the revamped tablet, which comes with a pin-sharp 2048 x 1536 display and new 64-bit A7 processor, start at $399 (16GB, Wi-Fi only), with the priciest model (128GB, Wi-Fi + cellular) going for $829.
Hoping to get your hands on the new Mini before Christmas? You’ll have to act fast – the supply issues that delayed its launch are likely to be around for a little while yet. Although the 16GB and 32GB models are currently listed as shipping in 1-3 business days, and all other models in 5-10 days, we don’t expect those time frames to hold for too long.
Apple boss Tim Cook recently confirmed rumors suggesting a shortage of the refreshed tablet, saying during an earnings call that he couldn’t be sure there’d be enough Minis to meet demand in the run up to Christmas.
Cook’s comments came after the director of Tablet and Monitor Research at market research firm IHS iSuppli described the supply of the new Mini as “severely constrained,” adding that it may not be until the first quarter of next year that we’ll see “meaningful volume.”
A report from Taiwan-based tech site Digitimes suggested Sharp was at the center of the supply shortage, with the electronics company reportedly having trouble keeping up to speed with the manufacture of the new 7.9-inch Retina display panel. Sharp is thought to be supplying around 40 percent of the displays, while LG is producing the rest.
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