iPad Mini Retina due Nov. 12, says note on internal Apple tool

Note on support network tool lists Tuesday as the availability date for the new tablet in several countries even though that day has already arrived for many of the countries and no debut appears at hand.

iPad Mini Retina
The iPad Mini Retina. James Martin/CNET

Editors' note: Several hours after this story was posted, the iPad Mini with Retina display did indeed go on sale.

Apple has purportedly delivered an odd message to its network of support technicians and resellers indicating that the iPad Mini Retina will be available on November 12, even though that day has already arrived for many of the countries listed for Tuesday's debut.

Until now, the most Apple had said about a release date was that the $399 tablet would not be available until "later in November." But a note posted to Apple's Global Service Exchange (GSX) -- an internal online tool used to process repairs -- allegedly said the new tablet would come available in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States local time on Tuesday.

The note, which was first reported by MacRumors and later confirmed as legitimate by 9to5Mac, does not elaborate on what that exact local time might be.

Note about iPad Mini Retina on Apple's GSX tool.

However, that target launch date is already in full swing for most of the countries listed in the note and there has been nary a suggestion the new tablet's launch is at hand. Furthermore, as 9to5Mac notes, it would be highly unusual for the company to announce a major product launch date to support personnel rather than via press release to the media.

Apple typically schedules major product releases for Fridays, not midweek after a national holiday in the US. Also, a launch Tuesday seems unlikely considering that the new tablet is expected to be in limited supply when it first comes out. Apple CEO Tim Cook alluded to possible shortages of the recently unveiled tablet during Apple's earnings conference call last month.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Updated at 9 p.m. PT Apple's Internet store is offline at this time, a familiar procedure before a major Apple product release.

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