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Surprise: Apple launched the Retina iPad mini while you were sleeping

Updated Nov 12th, 2013 12:26PM EST
iPad Mini Retina Release Date

Apple is a creature of habit but every once in a while, the company deviates from the norm. The new completely redesigned iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display were unveiled late last month and while Apple’s larger tablet got a release date as expected, Apple would only say that its second-generation iPad mini would launch sometime in November. Several reports have stated that manufacturing issues were the cause of Apple’s uncertain launch, and Apple CEO Tim Cook even admitted on the company’s recent earnings call that there might not be enough supply to meet demand once the new iPad mini finally does launch. Well, wait is now over and the mad dash to be among the first to get your hands on the initial wave of Retina iPad minis has begun.

Apple on Tuesday quietly released the second-generation iPad mini in the middle of the night with no warning. The new tiny tablet appears to be available online only for the time being, as no models are listed as being available for in-store pickup.

UPDATE: Some units are now available for purchase in stores.

At the time of this writing, orders placed for all 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi only models were listed as shipping in 1-3 business days. All four models with cellular connectivity ship in 5-10 business days according to Apple’s online store, as were the 64GB and 128GB models in both silver and space gray. Smart Covers for the new iPad mini with Retina display are available to ship immediately, of course.

Apple’s new iPad mini with Retina display is strikingly similar to the first-generation iPad mini model, however it features some internal upgrades highlighted by Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor and, of course, a new 7.9-inch Retina display. The 16GB model starts at $399 with Wi-Fi only and the 128GB model with cellular data tops out at $829.

A link to Apple’s order page can be found below in our source section.

UPDATE: Apple’s press release:

iPad mini with Retina Display Available Starting Today

CUPERTINO, California—November 12, 2013—Apple® announced iPad® mini with Retina® display is available starting today. The new iPad mini brings all the pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad to its 7.9-inch screen, delivering razor sharp text and detail in an amazingly thin and light design. It features the powerful and power-efficient Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, ultrafast wireless with faster built-in Wi-Fi and expanded LTE cellular connectivity, iOS 7 featuring hundreds of great new features and access to all 475,000 apps designed specifically for iPad.

“The response to iPad Air has been incredible, and we’re excited for customers to experience the new iPad mini with Retina display,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We think customers will love both of these thin, light, powerful new iPads, and we’re working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers.”

Pricing & Availability
iPad mini with Retina display will be available starting today in silver or space gray. iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $399 (US) for the 16GB model, $499 (US) for the 32GB model, $599 (US) for the 64GB model and $699 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $529 (US) for the 16GB model, $629 (US) for the 32GB model, $729 (US) for the 64GB model and $829 (US) for the 128GB model. Additionally, the original iPad mini continues to be available at the more affordable price of $299 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $429 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for either AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon.

Custom-designed polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad mini with Retina display and iPad mini are available for $39 (US) in a range of vibrant colors, including blue, green, pink, yellow, black and (RED). Additionally, a beautiful aniline-dyed leather iPad mini Smart Case is available in six rich colors, including yellow, beige, blue, brown, black and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $69 (US) for both models of iPad mini. Smart Covers and Smart Cases are available through the Apple Online Store (, Apple’s retail stores and select Authorized Apple Resellers.

iPad mini with Retina display is available to order through the Apple Online Store( to ship or through Personal Pickup at Apple’s retail stores, and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.