iPad Mini availability at Verizon, AT&T improves, supply eases

Supply of the iPad Mini Retina appears to be easing significantly, as cellular models become more readily available at Verizon and AT&T.

The iPad Mini Retina is now trickling into carrier stores and availability at Apple's online store is now 1-3 days.
The iPad Mini Retina is now trickling into carrier stores and availability at Apple's online store is now 1-3 days. Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive

The iPad Mini with Retina display is finally trickling into Verizon and AT&T stores, while order lead times are dwindling to days, as supply eases overall.

AT&T is now showing select cellular models available at some stores across the country for the first time.

And Verizon is now showing a shipping date of Saturday. A small number of stores also are starting to receive select cellular models for the first time.

This is in contrast to last Friday when the Mini Retina was listed as back-ordered for at least three weeks at AT&T and 10 days at Verizon (which had been continuously pushing out its back-order dates).

Apple's online store is also showing 1-3 days available-to-ship. A week ago this was 5-7 days .

The availability of the Mini Retina cellular models contrasts with the iPad Air sales launch. When Apple started selling the iPad Air on November 1, it was available at Verizon, AT&T, and other carriers on the same day.

The fact the Mini Retina is now more readily available at Verizon and AT&T may be an indication that Apple is finally easing its grip on supply. The new Mini launched quietly about a month ago , on November 12.

Before the launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook had expressed caution about supply of the Mini Retina during Apple's fourth-quarter earnings conference call -- as have analysts.

"Even though they were able to ramp up more quickly than anticipated in November and December, it still takes awhile to get those products out," Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli, told CNET last week.

The new iPad Mini sports a 2,048x1,536-resolution display that boasts 326 pixels per inch -- one of the highest of any tablet to date. Analysts believe the display has been a challenge to make in the large volumes that Apple demands.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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