Literally seconds after Apple opened pre-orders for the iPad mini I bought a 32GB model in white. That was on October 26. A month ago. Not only hasn't it arrived yet, it hasn't even shipped yet. U.S. iPad minis + LTE began arriving weeks ago but international iPad minis + LTE aren't being treated equally. That's nothing new. Apple famously (or infamously) delayed the release of the original iPad and iPad 2 almost a month outside the U.S., both online and at retail. With the iPad mini, the international Wi-Fi only versions were available for delivery and purchase day and date with U.S. versions. It's only the LTE (or cellular, if your carrier doesn't support LTE) versions that seem to be MIA.
The iPad Mini Wi-Fi + cellular was advertised here as available to ship in late November. That now leaves 4 days, and and means that, once it arrives (presumably 7-10 days later) time from pre-order to fulfillment will be over a month. Staging the rollout makes sense, and prioritizing the U.S. also makes sense. It simply shows that no company, not even Apple, can do everything at once, everywhere at once.
It took Apple an embarrassingly, outrageously, incomprehensibly long time to get Lightning cables and adapters into stores. During that painful period, early device adopters were left without connectivity, sometimes without even charging solutions for their brand new iPhone 5 handsets (especially those who lost or damaged the original, lone Lightning cable that came in the box). It was a rare and disappointing gaffe by a company that's usually the best in the business when it comes to getting product onto shelves.
The lack of international iPad mini + LTE shipments is nowhere near as bad as that. Apple still has a few more days left in November to at least ship the devices. And to get iTunes 11 done, and a few more weeks to get the new, wafer-thin iMacs out the door.
But that's a lot of product to leave to the last Holiday minute. And that's the problem with doing so much -- covering a lot of ground spreads anyone, even Apple, thin.
Anyone else outside the U.S. order an iPad mini + LTE? If so, what's your shipment status?
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.