Attention yellow journalists: Wi-Fi-only iPad minis launch today, 4G LTE models later this month, that is why lines are ‘shorter’ today

By SteveJack

Bloomberg is reporting (via a video report) today that “Apple’s iPad mini goes on sale today, but the reduced size tablet seems to be attracting fewer crowds around the world than previous Apple product launches.”

This follows a Reuters hit piece, “Apple rolls out iPad mini in Asia to shorter lines.”

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is the yellowest of all, burying the fact — fourteen paragraphs into their story! — that only the Wi-Fi-only version launched today and offering merde mots such as:

• Shoppers got their hands on Apple’s new iPad mini Friday, launched with less fanfare than previous incarnations amid talk it might have come too late to the 7-inch tablet computer market.
• The event stirred little of the excitement associated with previous Apple products however, generating only small lines of devoteesat flagship stores around the world.
• In tech-mad Singapore numbers were well down on previous launches, while in Hong Kong around 30 people queued to collect their pre-ordered devices. There was nothing like the days-long queues for the new generation iPhone 5 in Sydney.
• Market analyst Loo Wee Tech, head of Consumers Electronics Research said the new tablets “failed to excite” a sector that has grown accustomed to ever more amazing gadgets over the years.
• Die-hard fans also noted there was less buzz this time around. “It’s not surprising people wait for hours to be the first to get new Apple devices, but now the hype doesn’t seem to be as big as before,” said Kim Tae-Min.
• Mark Ranson, associate analyst at the global technology research firm Ovum, said the iPad mini marked something of a departure because it was an instance of Apple following the crowd, rather than setting the pace. “This reactive nature of the iPad mini launch was largely the cause of the more muted public response,” he said before adding that increasing competition was squeezing Apple.

These pieces of yellow journalism either ignore or attempt to bury the fact that the iPad mini launch is a two-stage launch: Today is the Wi-Fi-only model launch. The iPad mini with 4G LTE cellular capability launches later this month. The launch is split in half, therefore so are the lines. Seing as how the iPad mini is the most portable iPad yet, I expect demand for the 4G LTE models in particular to be high.

And, of course, all models of iPad mini have been available for pre-order online since Friday, October 26, which would also impact queues, obviously.

So, two different models, one with Wi-Fi and one with Wi-Fi+4G LTE, launch on two different days a week after online pre-oreders began. That is why lines are “shorter.”

Advice for certain media outlets: Report the news, don’t attempt to create it lest your credibility end up in tatters.

To close on a positive note, The Wall Street Journal‘s Jessica E. Lessin gets it exactly right:

The iPad’s smaller sibling goes on sale Friday. But die-hard fans need not prepare to camp outside an Apple store.

Analysts are expecting a calmer scene than the launch of a new iPhone or the latest iPad. That’s because the iPad Mini, which starts at $329, is targeted at a subset of potential iPad buyers, says Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster. Moreover, only Wi-Fi versions of the device go on sale Friday. The pricier versions with high-speed cellular data start shipping a few weeks later.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer and multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.


  1. Most people ordered online in addition to this being a WiFi model only release day.

    The yellow journalists will all eat theor words when the final worldwide tally of iPad Minis is realeased

    1. Well, it is a factual reality that lines are indeed “shorter”. Even if stores are out of stock the fact remains that not enough products in inventory may be discouraging buyers to wait for a nonexistent iPad mini.

  2. Be very, very careful how you get your “news,” especially in the U.S.

    You’d think the U.S. would have the best news due to money and freedom, but sadly this is not the case anymore. Not that it’s been dispassionately balanced for decades – even old Walt Cronkite was a left-leaning fraud, it turns out. When “the most-trusted man in America” turns out to be a yellow journalist, you know your media system is broken.

    Try to read the same story from at least three places, preferably more than that, and compare what is being reported carefully. Look for buried ledes and headlines that are inaccurate.

    1. America is essentially broken, not just the media. However, events such as this week’s tragedy do still bring out the best in people and show what can be achieved when people work together. Perhaps it’s time the epoch of the Divided States came to a close.

      I hope that whoever wins next week the American people will accept the result and stop attacking each other all the time. So what if people have differing priorities? The world’s big enough for other points of view.

    2. News360 is both a website and app that does just this. For any given story, all the media outlets covering are brought together so you can quickly see how they’re spinning it.

  3. “Journalist” have to find (or manufacture) a story. Online ordering took a big chunk out of the lines. Many people will wait for the nice delivery person to bring it to them this morning.

    Apple will sell millions of iPad minis this year — more in two months than competitors will sell in a year, but it will be reported as “slowed” sales.

    1. Everybody just calm down! Talk about paranoid! Jeez, if the lines are shorter than for other product releases then the lines are shorter. What’s yellow about that? I don’t believe I’ve read in any of the articles that Apple was going out of business because the lines are shorter? Is it yellow journalism when they report that the lines are wrapped around the block? Jeez! Sure iPad minis were ordered on line. Of course the cellular version is not available yet. But the lines are not long. That’s simply a fact. If I remember correctly, cellular versions of some previous iPads were not available on launch day either. Right? There were no short lines for any of the iPad releases. That’s just a fact too. The reality is, and nobody wants to hear it, the lines are just not long for this product release. There is no pent-up demand for the iPad mini like there was for the previous iPads. Sure they sold out online but there should still be long lines at the stores. And there are not long lines at stores. Yellow journalism would be fabricating stories stating that there are long lines waiting for the iPad mini. Quit acting like children. Grow up. Quit being so defensive and offended by something in the newspaper. It’s not about you, your family or your dog. It’s about a company. If you’re pissed off because you didn’t take profit at $705 that’s just too bad. You’ll do better next time won’t you? But fear not, iPad minis will sell just like I said they would : like hotcakes!

      1. Speaking of needing to calm down, you might want to take some of your own advice. While I agree that some of the defensiveness in this forum is excessive, you apparently failed to comprehend the source of the outrage.

        It is true that the lines are shorter. People are irritated because “journalists” substituted fabricated FUD to explain the shorter lines rather than pausing to actually consider the factors driving iPad mini unit sales this weekend.

        Personally, I believe that 1M or more units is a great start and that the future of the iPad mini is very bright, indeed.

  4. Despite storm aftermath, isloation, major lack of elecrtricity, gas, transit and services and despite online purchases selling out, major line at Apple stores here….

  5. …”lest your credibility end up in tatters.”

    Since when was it untattered? There is precious little that can be trusted in the media anywhere these days. Yellow journalism indeed…

  6. Was just at my local Super Target and an hour after opening they’d sold just one of the iPad 4th Gen and none of the iPad mini! For the last iPad launch we sold out within two hours. Not the demand Apple had hyped!

  7. When did Apple hype the demand. They said that they sold out of the online initial stock.

    Most first adopters buy online nowadays. Queueing is old hat unless it is sold out online. Good tip to try the third party stores if the Apple Stores are out.

    My guess is that the demand will accelerate as we go to Christmas.

    1. Who cares, the iPad mini is a disappointment. It’s fraught with out dated technology and no Retna display. As a huge Apple fan and early adopter of nearly everything Apple. I have no interest and will be sticking to my iPad Retna. I might sell it and get the new one for the faster processor, but that will depend on how well I can make out with selling the 3rd Gen iPad.

      1. Idiot. The target market for a Mini couldn’t give a toss for the technology behind it, which is hardly ‘outdated’. If I had the money, my order would have been placed the moment it was possible, as the Mini fills a useful niche between my iPad3 and my iPhone 5.

  8. Here’s the “Business Insider” headline: “First Impressions Of The iPad Mini: Incredibly Thin And Light, But An Ugly Screen.”
    By Steve Kovach

    I’m waiting for UPS to deliver my iPad mini and I’ll let you and BI know.

    1. No doubt a rarity on this site. I too have found that ordering online works very well. Standing in line is okay and probably fun if you’re a kid. I had my fun waiting till the very second that I can order and hitting the order button for the last three iPads and my 4S.

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