The iPad mini with retina display is now available for online purchase

iPadMiniRetinaSilver

Surprise! After MacRumors spotted an internal memo on Monday that showed the iPad mini with retina display was running late for release on Tuesday in seven different countries (confirmed by 9to5Mac), Apple made up for the blunder by unceremoniously opening orders for the next-generation tablet earlier today at 3:00 am EST/12:00 am PT.

While all colors and models are available to ship in as early as one business day, you might want to get your order in as soon as possible. The device has been rumored to be plagued with delays since before it was even announced, leading analysts to be less than optimistic about overall stock. According to CNET, Apple CEO Tim Cook vaguely alluded to the shortage during last month’s earning call, saying, “You never really know the demand until after you start shipping.”

Add to this the fact that a tipped hand may have forced the company to bump up the release date by more than a week, and it’s likely that it could be the gold iPhone 5s all over again.

It’s important to note that Apple is offering an in-store pickup option for the new iPad mini — however, as of this writing, no store in the Manhattan area shows any in stock. And if the shortage rumors are in fact true, and the iPad mini Retina is the tablet you want this holiday season, then you might as well just go for it: Better to get your hands on it before Thanksgiving then to not see it until after the New Year.

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