“Apple on Tuesday finally put the iPad mini with Retina display up for order through its Online Apple Store, springing the tablet on customers after going over three weeks without announcing a firm launch date,” AppleInsider reports.

“Instead of announcing the launch publicly, Apple quietly kicked off online sales at midnight Pacific in the U.S., indicating supply levels may not be high enough to sustain an expect influx of early adopters,” AppleInsider reports. “Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at possibly tight inventory in late October, saying, ‘It’s unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not.'”

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MacDailyNews Take: Surprise, surprise, surprise!

MacDailyNews Note: Currently, all iPad mini models are listed with shipping of 5-10 business days except for the 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi-only models which still have shipping times of 1-3 business days.