The iPad Mini: So, did you buy one?

Show of hands: Who waited in line this morning? Or expected to wait in a line, but found the crowds thinner than expected? And what do you think of the Mini so far?

The iPad Mini went on sale today.
The iPad Mini went on sale today. Apple

The iPad Mini arrived in Apple stores today , leading many to wonder if it would lead to long lines, early sellouts, tears, riots, plagues, and other situations that typically accompany Apple's new-product releases. (Actually, as CNET's Josh Lowensohn just reported, the Mini did sell out in Apple's big New York City store .)

My question for you: Did you go buy an iPad Mini today? If so, did you find yourself standing in a long line? And did the store appear to have enough stock to satisfy customers?

Here's what happened to me, starting with a little background. (Dad, if you're reading this, please stop now.) I'd already pre-ordered a Mini for my dad, who turns 80(!) on November 11. Although Apple had initially promised a one-week turnaround for Wi-Fi Minis, my confirmation e-mail told me it wouldn't arrive until November 16. Better late than never? I guess, but obviously I'd prefer to have the Mini in Dad's hands on the big day, not five days later.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Best Buy informing me they'd have stock today, November 2. Thinking I might avoid Apple Store crowds, this morning I called my local Best Buy to check availability. I waited on hold for 15 minutes (with insanely loud and annoying hold music) and then hung up. A short while later, I tried again. Despite the robo-attendant's assurance there was only one customer ahead of me, I was left on hold another 15 minutes. Third time: same result. Aw, screw it, I'll just drive over.

I did, expecting big crowds and crazy-busy salespeople who couldn't possibly pause answer the phone. Instead I found a mostly deserted store with salespeople standing idly in the usual clumps. And people wonder why Best Buy is having problems .

Long story short, I was in and out of there in less than 10 minutes, black iPad Mini under my arm. (Apple Store pre-order, cancelled shortly thereafter.) I don't know what things were like in the mall's Apple Store across the street, but I had a pretty easy time of it. Makes me wonder if Apple will really sell 1.5 million Minis this weekend , as at least one analyst predicted.

Tell me your Mini story, if you have one. Furthermore, tell me what you think of the wee tablet now that you've had a few hours to paw it. Like? No like? Why?

 

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