Consumers can now waltz into many Apple stores and pick up an iPad Mini Retina for the first time. To date, availability was limited to online sales and pre-orders with customer pickup.
The iPad Mini Retina is now available for walk-in purchase at Apple stores nationwide. And new data shows that the new Mini has caught up to the original Version in adoption.
As of this week, the iPad Mini Retina is available, for the first time, widely at stores across the U.S., according to checks done by CNET.
Apple stores in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all had the iPad Mini Retina available for walk-in purchase as of Tuesday afternoon Pacific.
Though not all models were available for walk-in purchase, all stores contacted by CNET had many Wi-Fi-only models and select cellular versions in stock.
Until this week, the Mini Retina had been available in large part (there were a few exceptions late last week, such as New York City stores) only for customer pickup (which requires a pre-order) or through online orders nationwide.
Stores contacted by CNET said the walk-in sales change happened this week.
New data from Fiksu seems to buttress this change at Apple stores. The Mini Retina is now at the same level of adoption as the original Mini, according to Fiksu, which samples data from millions of iPads using Fiksu apps.
Carriers, on the other hand, still don't have wide availability. Verizon and AT&T, for example, still show backordered status.
That, however, could change later this week as Mini Retina becomes increasingly available.
Apple's Web page still shows 5 to 10 business days to ship for all iPad Mini Retina versions.
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.
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.