Retina iPad Mini Shipping Estimates Improve to 1 to 3 Days in Multiple Countries Ahead of the Holidays

As the holidays approach, Apple’s Retina iPad mini supplies have begun to improve, alleviating the supply constraints the product has faced since its quiet November 12launch.

In the Online Apple Store, Retina iPad mini shipping estimates for all models and capacities, including cellular models, have decreased to 1 to 3 days in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Asia Pacific. The Retina iPad mini continues to ship within 3 to 5 days in European countries.

Retina iPad Mini
The new shipping estimates are a significant improvement from shipping estimates in late November, which slipped to 5 to 10 days for multiple weeks before improving to 3 to 5 days earlier this week.

Issues with display yields were reportedly behind Apple’s supply shortages, and as a result of the constrained supplies, Apple launched the Retina iPad mini in the middle of the night, offering the tablet solely via its online store and through Personal Pickup. It wasn’t until 10 days after launch that Apple began allowing walk-in sales of the Retina mini. Cellular models have been the most constrained, with multiple carriers experiencing back orders on cellular Retina iPad minis in November.

Just a few weeks ago, a report suggested Apple had solved its production problems, allowing it to build up some supplies for the holiday shopping season. Along with shorter shipping estimates, in-store supplies of the Retina iPad mini appear to have improved slightly as well, with several colors and capacities available for immediate pickup in quite a few Apple Stores around the country.

According to an unofficial web tracker, supplies of the 16 and 32 GB Wi-Fi models are widely available, while the larger 64 and 128 GB Retina iPad minis and all cellular minis remain in shorter supply.

Appleā€™s holiday shipping guidelines now suggest that U.S. customers order the non-engraved Retina iPad mini by December 16 for a December 24 delivery with standard shipping.

Retina iPad Mini Has 1.3 GHz A7 Processor With 5X The Performance of the Original Mini

Apple’s new Retina iPad mini includes the same 64-bit A7 chip used in the iPad Air and the iPhone 5s, which offers significantly better performance than the A5 chip found in the original iPad mini.

According to new Geekbench 3 benchmarks, the Retina iPad mini is running at 1.3Ghz, much like the iPhone 5s. The iPad Air, however, clocks in at 1.4Ghz, giving it a slight performance edge over both the iPhone 5s and the new mini.

Retina iPad Mini
The Retina iPad mini scored a 1390 on the single-core test and a 2512 on the multi-core test, which was similar to the iPhone 5s score of 1399/2523, and lower than the iPad Air at 1466/2856. Compared to the 261/493 score of the original mini, the Retina iPad mini marks an incredible boost in performance speeds.

It is unclear why the mini is clocked at 1.3Ghz instead of 1.4Ghz like the iPad Air, but in terms of real world usage, users are unlikely to notice the small speed differences. It is possible that Apple chose the lower clock speed in the iPad mini to improve overall battery life or to reduce heat within the smaller chassis.

Apple’s Retina iPad mini went on sale last night at midnight and is currently still available from the Apple Online Store and in Apple retail locations via Personal Pickup.