There Will Be Plenty of iPad Airs For Sale This Friday (AAPL)
Remember when Apple’s iPhone 5S went on sale in short supply?
Selling out of a product on the first day is a great news headline but what wasn’t so impressive was the fact that some, actually most stores only had a handful of gold 5S models and the others were sold out by 1:00 p.m. local time at many locations.
Reports indicate that the new iPad Air, which goes on sale Friday, won’t be in short supply. 9to5mac reported that Apple stores received 500-1000 units for Friday’s launch. Leaked photos show that retail outlets like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) have received its supply and are pricing some of the units at $479.
Apple will also allow customers to order their iPad Air online and pick it up at an Apple store after 12:00 p.m local time on the 1st.
Much like the iPhone 5S, the iPad Air is a significant improvement over the previous model. It’s lighter, sports the same 64 bit A7 processor found in the new iPhone 5S, includes support for MIMO Wi-Fi and has an improved FaceTime camera. Most notably, at only 7.5 millimeters, it’s significantly thinner than the fourth-generation iPad at 9.4mm.
Reviews for the Air are mostly positive. Darrell Etherington at TechCrunch said, “Having used primarily an iPad mini for the past year, there’s no question that coming back to the 9.7-inch Retina display was an uplifting experience. It felt a little like getting your prescription adjusted and realizing you’ve been seeing everything poorly for a long time.”
Walt Mossberg at AllThingsD said, “Bottom line: If you can afford it, the new iPad Air is the tablet I recommend, hands down.”
But the news isn’t as positive for the new iPad mini. Supply constraints due to shortages in the Retina display might keep the device in short supply through the holiday season once it’s released later this month. In Apple’s recent earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook said, “It's unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not.”
Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company said in an investor note that the company may not ramp up production of the new device until early 2014.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple
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