The iPad Mini officially went on sale in the wee hours this morning, with Apple accepting pre-orders for their miniaturized tablet computer at 3 a.m. Friday morning. By 3:18 a.m., a purchase of the white-exterior iPad Mini was already showing shipping delays. Yes, the white iPad Mini sold out in just 17 minutes.
Who the heck is up buying iPads at 3 a.m.?
Quite a few people, apparently. When the iPad Mini became available for pre-order at 3 a.m. Eastern Time, the white iPad Mini quickly sold out. The blog MacRumors reports that the white iPad Mini sold out in 17 minutes. To be fair, the black-casing iPad Mini is still available for delivery on the original target delivery date, next Friday, Nov. 2.
You can see this for yourself on the Apple Store's iPad Mini order page. If you click on the black model iPad Mini, you will see a "Delivers 11/2" ship date. If you click on the white model iPad Mini, you will see an "Available to ship: 2 weeks" delivery date. Meaning, Apple has run out of their current stock of white iPad Minis, and they're waiting for their 24/7 Chinese sweatshop operation to crank out a couple million more of the white-exterior tablets.
The iPad Minis available right now are only the Wi-Fi models, the ones which require a nearby wireless network to connect with the internet. The costlier Wi-Fi-plus-cellular-service model does not have an exact availability date, and the Apple store only describes it as being "Available to ship: Mid November."
MacRumors also notes that in some countries other than the US, the white iPad Mini was showing the two-week delay immediately when the little guys went on sale. This may indicate that Apple didn't have enough of them to start with on their first day of sales, reinforcing the suspicion that Apple is having supply chain and production problems.
If you're just dying to get that iPad Mini as quickly as possible and you haven't yet pre-ordered, remember that you can still get it on the first day of it's availability, Nov. 2. You just have to show up at an Apple retail store and wait in line.