If you frequently buy brand new Apple products, you know the cycle: initial pre-order stock sells out quickly, launch day stock goes fast, and then Apple starts offering next-day reservations for in-store pickup. The iPad mini has reached the last stage in the cycle.
Apple retail stores get a limited supply of new products (in this case, the iPad mini) each night. If you’re having trouble getting your hands on an iPad mini, your best bet is to order one through Apple’s online store and see if you can walk in and pick it up in person the next day at your local Apple Store.
When you add the iPad mini you want to your cart, select “Pick up” as the method of delivery at checkout. The catch is that you’ll have to place the order after 10 P.M. local time in order to see your closest retail store’s inventory for the next day. If you can call dibs on the model you want, you won’t have to worry about being the first customer in the Apple Store the following morning. The iPad mini you reserved online will be held for you. Since shipping times for the iPad mini are 2 weeks+ in most places around the world, an in-store reservation is probably the way to go.
The same system has been in place for the iPhone 5 since it launched in September.