Why Apple Released the Retina iPad Mini Quietly

via John Gruber. Ed Dale:

By soft releasing the iPad Mini Retina, Apple achieved three crucial things.

  • Apple’s biggest fans got theirs first. Who knew about this first? The people who follow the Apple blogs and digerati. Judging by Twitter, this worked perfectly.
  • The grey market queing for the iPad Mini Retina was going to be immense. By going online the incredibly poor optics (The front of Apple lines, which attracts a lot of media, was full of people who were not fans but paid to be there) are mitigated.
  • The last thing Apple wants is 100’s of customers turning up everyday to be dissapointed in a store which is meant to be a happy place – Apple does not want their stores to be associated with disappointment and frustration!!

“What!?!” That’s probably what the reaction was by average folks who wanted to buy a retina iPad mini when they found out it became available eight hours earlier. To me it seems Apple got wimpy; Apple didn’t have the balls to apologize: “We messed up telling you the iPad mini with retina display was going to be available in November. We are supply constrained and want to make the iPad mini with retina display as widely available as possible. A lot more of you will be able to buy one in early December.” An additional month would have given Apple enough time to stock its channels to make not only the biggest fans happy but most of its fans.

The second bullet point Dale makes doesn’t make sense. An online-only launch need not be a soft one to mitigate mercenaries lining up at Apple Stores and buying up all their stock. The third bullet point doesn’t make sense either: You can easily check to see whether or not the local Apple Store has the retina iPad mini in stock: John Gruber shared this on Twitter: “iPad mini Retina Availability Grid”. You don’t need to blindly drive to an Apple Store and find out the retina iPad mini you want isn’t in stock.