Tracked Down & Grabbed an LTE iPad mini Today

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iPad mini LTE

I bought a WiFi iPad mini on its launch day a couple weeks back. This week I returned it within the 14 day return period; reason: I love it (see my iPad mini review for confirmation) and wanted to trade up to the WiFi + Cellular model as soon as I could get hold of one.

During the course of Thursday and Friday of this week I kept seeing reports that the iPad mini WiFi + Cellular (or LTE) models would be in Apple and carrier stores starting on Friday. So yesterday I called around to quite a number of AT&T and Verizon stores here in Austin – and none of them had any available, or any clue when they might have some. I called my closest Apple store twice during Friday morning and was told they had no iPad mini LTE models in yet and that they weren’t sure if they would get any during the day. I tried a third time just after midday and got the sad news that they had received a limited number of units and had sold out. I must’ve missed them by a very small window of time.

Last night I tried hitting the Apple online store right on 10PM – when they refresh stock availability – to see if I could manage to grab an LTE model with pickup at a local store, to avoid waiting 2 weeks for shipping. I spent a full hour giving my browser’s refresh button a workout and then finally the page changed and showed pickup options available for the 32GB LTE model I wanted. I entered my zip code and immediately saw that no pickup was available at any of the stores in my area. I tried several times with no change in the results.

This morning I thought I’d try another few calls to local stores, but felt as if there was very little hope and thought I’d be hitting the online store at 10PM tonight again. But I got lucky on my first call to my closest local Apple store at 9:40AM. They said they had a very limited number of 32GB models in stock but that they would likely sell out very quickly once they opened at 10. Luckily this store is about a 10 minute drive away on a clear Saturday morning – so I was there at 9:55 and was the first one in the store and was able to grab a black 32GB model.

The only change I had to make was going with a Verizon model rather than AT&T, which is always my first choice. And I’m fine with that as A) it’s a separate, no-contract data plan anyway and B) Verizon has excellent coverage in my area and it’s probably about time I give them a try.

I got my new iPad mini restored from an iCloud backup of the WiFi model in an hour flat. I think that’s superb considering that’s all settings and over 100 apps – right back exactly where they were on the mini’s home screens. I also got a new data plan going with Verizon (the minimum 2GB for $20 per month) quickly and easily.

My new little friend is now charged to 100% and ready to rock. If you’re out hunting for an LTE iPad mini this weekend, I hope you get lucky too.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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15 thoughts on “Tracked Down & Grabbed an LTE iPad mini Today”

  1. Nice Patrick! I just sent in my iPad 3 (64 GB, Verizon LTE, White) to Gazelle this past Thursday. I had a quote for $550 good through 11/18. Meanwhile, I received my LTE iPad (64 GB, Verizon LTE, Black) on Thursday and set it up yesterday. It is working great so far. I love the reduced form factor and significantly reduced weight. Right now, I am using a Rocketfish folio case temporarily until the 2 cases that I ordered (STM Grip & Marware Microshell Folio) come in.

    1. Cool. I’ve still got my 64GB iPad 3, which is a big part of why I’m happy going with 32GB on the iPad mini.

  2. I’m loving the Mini (32GB Black) and will keep my WiFi version as there is access almost wherever I go. Glad you found what you wanted.

    1. Thanks Libby. Yup, WiFi is pretty easy to find these days – but the mini is just so lovely and portable that I really want to make sure it has always-on connectivity.

  3. Glad to hear you were able to snag one. I just got back from my two week work trip from hell last night, and managed to track down a White 32GB WiFi version at a Walmart 20 miles from my house. It was the last one they had. My Apple order wasn’t due to arrive until 12/3, so I was very happy to grab one early to play with over the holiday. Hope you get some time to enjoy your this week.

  4. Well done, sir, well done! As of my last e-mail notification, mine is sitting in Alaska at the Fed Ex shipping depot having cleared the International shipping release – import? I think that means they got it off the plane, lol. It still be a long way from California, tho. ” sigh”

  5. Hey Patrick, what do you primarily use the mini for? I mean, 2 weeks after you got it, is it primarily information consumption device or do you get to do any work on it?

    I plan to update my iPad to a newer model soon and I am still battling with thoughts which one to go for. The full one or the mini. The portability of the mini is something that would speak to me.

    I use iPad for most of my work stuff. Mainly business management but still….

    1. I use it for nearly everything I use the iPad 3 for – reading, keeping up with news, email, web browsing, testing apps and writing up notes on them, doing some site admin and so on.

  6. How is the speed and screen? Have given some thought about the first version of the iPad mini, but wonder if the next one out will have the A6 processor and retina display.

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