By Sumit Passary | Oct 27, 2012 04:01 PM EDT
On Oct. 23, Apple launched its much-rumored iPad mini tablet amidst much fanfare, foraying into the smaller tablet market in a bid to oust rivals. Now, per reports, the initial stock of iPad mini's ran out within the first 17 minutes of pre-orders opening.
The Apple Web site now indicates that the white version of the tablet is "available to ship: 2 weeks."The black version of Wi-Fi iPad Mini, however, is available for delivery as scheduled on Nov. 2 as of now.
"Apple started pre-orders for the iPad mini and 4th Generation iPad early this morning at 3AM Eastern / 12AM Pacific. As noted in our forums, the initial stock of White iPad minis sold out quickly in the U.S. Within the first 17 minutes, ship dates for the white iPad mini slipped to 2 weeks from the original "Delivers 11/2". The black Wi-Fi iPad mini remains available for delivery by November 2nd, reported MacRumors.
The iPad Mini is available in 16/32/64 GB variants and will hit the stores on Nov. 2. Like the iPhone 5, the tablet is available in two colors: black/slate and white/silver. The iPad mini sports a 7.9-inch display, is 0.28 inches thick and weighs just 0.68 pounds, which is 68 percent less than its bigger sibling, the iPad.
Whether the white iPad has sold out due to high demand or low supply is anybody's guess. According to reports, some countries had listed the two-week wait from the outset, indicating that Apple did not have as much inventory as it would have perhaps liked.
Analysts have forecasted that Apple will sell 6 million iPad mini's in December, which will in turn cannibalize the company's overall tablet sales.
"We believe that the smaller iPad could cannibalize 1 million regular iPad units in December or a rate of cannibalization at 20% (i.e. for every 5 million smaller iPads, you lose 1 million standard iPads), implying 25 million units for December from our prior 21 million," noted Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray.
Additionally, despite its high pricing of $329 for an entry-level model, Wall Street analysts are of the opinion that the iPad mini will justify its price tag.
"Due to the high quality of the hardware, we expect the device will be very well received by consumers once they have an opportunity to test it," said Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank.
With expectations riding high, market watchers and tech aficionados would be eager to see if the iPad mini can repeat iPad's success story. Judging by the initial response, it would seem that the tablet is on track to establish a stronghold in the consumer market and has Apple's Midas touch.
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