Despite Inferior Display, iPad Mini Sells Out Fast

Another New York City Apple launch, another sold-out iDevice. According to reports, Apple’s flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue sold out of its iPad Mini in just two hours.

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An estimated 800 people stood in line to get their hands on Apple’s newest tablet computer, the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. The store opened at 10am on Friday morning and was sold out by noon.

By comparison to previous events, it was a short line. About 1,300 and 1,200 people stood in line for NYC launches of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, respectively.

So, why the relative lack of interest in the iPad Mini?

While it’s hard to suggest that an 800-person line is disappointing, there are several possible explanations for the turnout. The iPad Mini, which Apple unveiled less than two weeks ago, retails for $329 and up: considerably more expensive than anyone predicted. By comparison, the very popular 7-inch Nexus 7 from Google sells for just $199.

The iPad Mini also lacks the Retina display that has made the standard, 9.7-inch iPad so popular. Granted, shrinking down the screen makes it difficult to see a difference, but reviews have suggested that the iPad Mini’s display is inferior. The Wall Street Journal

called the iPad Mini’s screen “a big step backwards.”

In Apple’s defence, the iPad Mini is considerably thinner and lighter than its 7-inch competition. Maybe that’s why online orders are backed up several weeks by high demand, forcing folks to stand in long lines like this one.

What do you guys think? Is the iPad Mini worth $130 more than the Nexus 7?

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