updated 12:52 am EDT, Thu October 31, 2013
Supplies likely to be highly constrained on launch for prized sequel
While the full-size and newly-rechristened iPad Air garners many of the reviews and accolades at the moment, the sequel to the very successful iPad mini -- the new 64-bit Retina display version -- is also coming "later in November," according to Apple. A leak or placeholder date posted on retailer Target's website, however, suggests that the Retina iPad mini will go on sale on Thursday, November 21, a week before Thanksgiving.
While the date could easily be a simple placeholder, given that Apple has already essentially ruled out early November as an option it is for many as good a date as any for the retail debut. It should be noted that not all models were shown in the website listing, perhaps suggesting that the date was just filled-in and not based on any official Apple information given to Target.
Apple's unspecified November release date for the Retina iPad mini, along with a stray remark given by CEO Tim Cook to analysts during the quarterly conference call, hinted that the device may see constraints in supply in its early days, creating a rush on the item for the holiday season. It is thought that Sharp, one of the possible suppliers of the Retina-quality display, is responsible for any production holdups on the device that could be slowing production. Apple appeared to have encountered similar issues with the iPhone 5s, only in that case it was thought to be due to yield problems with the Touch ID feature -- one that isn't present in the Retina iPad mini.
In addition to the Retina-quality display, the second-generation iPad mini features a new A7 chip (that is actually clocked faster than the one in the iPhone 5s and 5c), and more reliable Wi-Fi connections through the use of a second antenna and MIMO technology.