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.