As of writing this article, the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants of the iPad mini in both Black & Slate and White & Silver Wi-Fi colours are sold out in major Apple stores across the globe. Apple’s online stories in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australia and Singapore show the shipping time for the Wi-Fi units as “2 weeks”, instead of “November 2″ when the iPad mini went up for pre-order.
Additionally, the White & Silver 16GB iPad mini, seems to be in heavy demand in Australia as it shows shipping time of “2-3 weeks” instead of 2 weeks for all other models. Similarly, HongKong seems to be under Black & Slate Wi-Fi iPad mini-mania, with all units listed as “Currently unavailable” while the White & Silver units ship in 2 weeks. Blame it on the Chinese smuggling market.
The 4G/ LTE variants of the iPad mini are still listed to ship as per the original schedule i.e. mid-November in US and late-November in other markets. This is not exactly a surprise, given the Wi-Fi variants are cheaper, and shipping earlier, which means they are likely to be more popular with customers. That is not to say the pre-orders for the 4G/ LTE units would be underwhelming, though obviously there’s no way to be sure. The sufficient lead time before the units start shipping likely gives Apple enough time to fulfil orders as per the original timeline, barring any unprecedented spikes in demand or supply-side issues.
In other news, Google’s Android event scheduled to be held in New York on Monday has been cancelled due to hurricane Sandy. The company was widely expected to unveil a 3G-variant of its Nexus 7 tablet, while announcing price cuts for the 16GB variant. In fact, according to a report, the 16GB variant has already seen its price drop to $ 199 in some stores. That puts the 16GB Nexus 7 a full $ 130 cheaper than its Wi-Fi only iPad counterpart.
It will be interesting to see what impact the Nexus 7 price cuts and the introduction of a 3G-variant of the tablet will have on iPad mini sales. For now, customers seem happy to pay the “Apple premium”, but will they continue to do so as the price gap gets wider remains to be seen.