Three weeks after its announcement, the iPad mini with Retina display is now available for purchase in the online Apple Store. The release follows that of the larger iPad Air earlier in the month; both tablets feature the same 2048 x 1536 resolution and A7 processor, so the choice between the two more or less comes down to which size you prefer. Pricing starts at $399 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model and tops out at $829 for a 128GB unit equipped with LTE connectivity.
If you're looking to pick up a new iPad mini, time may be of the essence. Reports of severe supply constraints circulated before the tablet was even announced, and Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged on an earnings call that "it's not clear that everyone who wants one will be able to find one" this holiday season. The 16GB and 32GB models are currently listed as shipping within one to three business days, whereas every other variant will take between five to ten. It's been speculated that the stock constraints may be down to limited supply of the device's new high-resolution Retina display.
Until Apple formally announces the release, it's not possible to give a precise list of launch countries. That said, it's available through the Apple Store in most of Europe, Australasia, and parts of Asia in a launch that appears to be on a similar scale that of the iPad Air. Launch territories include the US, Canada, and Mexico; the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France; and Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, and Japan.
Update: In a press release, Apple announced that the new iPad mini is currently available to order for delivery, to reserve for in-store pickup at an Apple Store, or to purchase from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Apple Authorized Resellers. That means those hoping to pick up an iPad mini with Retina display at an Apple Store will have to reserve it online, though supplies already appear to be limited. The release didn't detail what countries it would be immediately available in.
"We’re working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers," Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, says in a statement. Tim Cook made a similar remark shortly after the introduction of the latest iPhone models, which were also said to be plagued by shortages. The iPhone 5S is still seeing shortages in some models after well over a month though, and with Apple's previous supply warnings, it appears the iPad mini may be similarly hard to come by at launch.