updated 02:28 am EDT, Fri October 26, 2012
Cook warns that new iMac to be in short supply initially
[Update: Pre-orders now available] Just before midnight Eastern time on Thursday, the Apple Store went down to prepare for iPad mini pre-orders, which will open at 3AM (midnight Friday PT). Apple is expecting a rush on the lowest-priced model in the iPad range, introduced on Tuesday as being an eight-inch alternative tablet comparable in power and performance to the iPad 2. While Apple also introduced a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, analysts expect the iPad mini to be the biggest-selling Apple product during the holiday buying season.
During a conference call with analysts on Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned that due to supplier issues, the new and thinner 21.5-inch iMac would be constrained in its initial shipments, though the supply would get better over time. The 27-inch model will delay initial shipments until December due to the same supply issues, mostly to do with the very high-quality display Apple uses in the two machines.
The iPad mini, which sports a nearly 8-inch screen and other advantages over its nearest rivals, starts at $329 for a WiFi-only 16GB model, and is available in 32GB ($429) and 64GB ($529) capacities, with 3G/LTE models in the same capacities for $130 more than the WiFi-only prices. WiFi models are scheduled to begin shipping on November 2, but no official release date has yet been announced for the cellular-data models.