iPad Mini Retina is a no-show at carriers

The iPad Mini Retina is not reaching carriers, with most back-ordered for at least a couple of weeks.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
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.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
Carriers are still waiting on the iPad Mini Retina.
Carriers are still waiting on the iPad Mini Retina. Apple

Carriers are still waiting on the iPad Mini Retina with 3G/4G capability, as back orders grow.

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all back-ordered on the cellular version of the Mini Retina, with Verizon's date now slipping to December 2.

Last week, Verizon had been saying November 25. And the carrier isn't saying when the device may arrive in stores, according to a company spokesperson.

T-Mobile is now showing the Mini Retina back-ordered 6-8 weeks.

AT&T is saying 21-28 days for orders to ship.

Cellular Retina Mini models, after being available briefly last week for customer pickup at Apple stores, are largely unavailable now for pickup by customers who pre-order.

Apple's Web page, however, still shows 5-10 business days to ship for cellular versions from those three carriers.

Overall, the availability of 3G/4G 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. Currently, carrier outlets like Verizon and AT&T typically have the Air at stores.

Apple did a low-key launch of the Mini Retina on November 12 amid analyst commentary and reports that the displays were in short supply. Indeed, Apple appears to be tightly controlling supply of the new Mini.

Customers cannot walk into a store off the street and pick one up -- like they can the Air.

The new 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.

Wi-Fi-only models, however, appear to be available on Apple's online store -- with some showing 1-3 business days. And models are also typically available for customer pickup.

Watch this: iPad Mini with Retina display: Apple's little tablet gets a big boost