Santa may have an easier time finding the Retina iPad mini in stores this Christmas than initially anticipated, as Apple’s online store has dropped shipping times down to 1 to 3 business days from the earlier 3 to 5 business days estimate, MacRumors reports. The shipping estimate is the same for any Retina iPad mini chosen from the store, regardless of color, connectivity or storage options. Pricing starts at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, while the most expensive iPad mini with Retina display is the 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular version that retails for $829.
The Retina iPad mini launched on November 12 when Apple quietly listed it on its online store and started taking orders. At the time, it was believed that due to supply constraints, Apple was not able to launch the device en fanfare, as with previous new iOS devices – the iPad Air launched on November 1, even though the two devices were announced simultaneously on October 22 during an Apple iPad event.
In early December, a survey said that Apple retail stores still struggled with Retina iPad mini stock, a few weeks after launch, even though a late November report claimed that Apple has been ramping up Retina iPad mini production to catch up with demand. Walmart highlighted the iPad mini as a best-selling device this Black Friday season, although the retailer did not single out the 2013 model. In addition to the Retina iPad mini, Apple has recently also considerably improved shipping estimates for the iPhone 5s flagship handset.
BGR has thoroughly reviewed the Retina iPad mini, finding it to be the best tablet you can buy, as long as you can find an use for it.