Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction in its wake after wreaking havoc on the East Coast, but one thing it didn't do is dampen demand for Apple's iPad mini
, at least not by as much as you might think. Long lines reportedly formed at Apple's
5th Avenue store in New York this morning in anticipation of the 7.85-inch tablet's launch, which was slightly delayed to 10:00 AM (Eastern), likely because of Sandy's lingering effects.
Several hundred people stood in line at the 5th Avenue location, somewhere between 500 and 600 in all, according to reports, and they were all hoping to go home with an iPad mini device. Apple began taking pre-orders online on October 26, and it didn't take long to sell out of its initial stock. At present, Apple's still quoting "Available to ship" times of "2 weeks" for the Wi-Fi models, and "Mid-November" for the Wi-Fi + Cellular SKUs.
The iPad mini is Apple's attempt at competing with the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, and other similarly sized tablets that have been eating into the 9.7-inch iPad's market share. Unlike those other tablets, however, the iPad mini starts at $329, a full $130 more than the competition. Apple feels the price is justified based on brand recognition, a larger size display (7.85 inches versus 7 inches), overall design, and iOS ecosystem.