An Apple internal tool called Global Service Exchange (GSX) has listed the Retina iPad mini as becoming available in a handful of markets, including the U.S. tomorrow, November 12. That's been verified now by several outlets and individuals. Juli Clover of MacRumors:
iPad mini (Retina), delivering razor sharp text and detail in the same amazingly thin and light design, will be available in the following countries on November 12, 3013 (local time): Australia, China (Wi-Fi only), Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, United States.
While anything is possible, and Apple can and will release what they want, when they want, I'm inclined to agree with Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac:
Although this is confirmed to have come out of an Apple internal system, a Retina iPad mini launch date tomorrow makes little sense…
New iOS product release dates are typically announced by Apple in advance to prevent things like internal tools leaking the dates. Coordinating an iOS device launch, even a constrained one, is non-trivial and hard to keep quiet.
Apple typically releases new iOS devices on Fridays, also even when supply is constrained. They typically have reviews hit a few days prior to launch to remind people a new iOS device is coming out, and help them decide whether or not to buy it.
International launches are typically coordinated to local time zones, so the ocean pacific countries would already have had sales start, and North American stores would be stocking for first day sales.
Again, Apple can and will launch new product whenever, however best suits their interests. Unless or until other sources verify the November 12 date, however, up to and including an Apple press release, it remains a single data point, and those can't be taken as confirmation of anything.
We'll update when/if we find out more.
UPDATE: Holy crap, iPad mini orders are live, and in more countries than initially indicated, including Canada and Australia. Go get 'em.
Retina iPad mini
The world's most popular tiny tablet goes Retina. Features include: