White speculated that with limited supply -- reportedly because of yield issues with the higher-resolution 2048 x 1536 display -- Apple decided to concentrate on the 32GB models, rather than the lowest-priced 16GB configurations.
"With limited displays, you don't want to invest in the lowest price," said White. "The 32GB is popular, and not the low end."
Apple's margins increase significantly as its devices' storage sizes climb, as the Cupertino, Calif. company charges $100 more for, say, the 32GB iPad Mini than it does for the 16GB model, but spends only a few dollars more on the additional flash RAM to build the former.
The Retina iPad Mini starts at $399 for the 16GB tablet, a 21% increase over the first-generation's price, and climbs to $499 for the 32GB, then to $599 and $699 for the 64GB and 128GB, respectively. Tablets able to connect to cellular networks run $130 more for each configuration.
"Most stores have at least one model in stock," said White. "Only 5% had nothing. But we're finding that [overall] the Mini is just not that available."
Today, Apple's online store showed shipping delays of 1 to 3 business days for 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi-only Retina iPad Minis; the roomier configurations indicated delays of 5 to 10 business days.
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