Last night, I went to sleep in a world where the iPad mini with Retina display (iPad MRD) was just a vague hope for the coming weeks. This morning, I woke up in a world where the iPad MRD was a reality, ready to be purchased from the Apple Store Online. I like this morning's world a lot better. Here's what you need to know:
At the time of this writing, this is online, only. Apple dropped this on us without warning or preamble. In the middle of the night, the Online, Apple Store went down, the came back up with the new minis ready to go. Apple has not made an official statement about availability.
This is not a preorder. This is the real thing. At the time of this writing, a 16 GB or 32 GB wifi only model ships within 1 - 3 business days. Everything else is 5 - 10 business days. Tim Cook has already warned us that these units would be in short supply. If your heart is set on getting one for the holidays, you should run, not walk, to your nearest web browser, and point it to www.apple.com.
I will let you know as soon as there is word on retail availability. I told you to line up for the 5S, and I was right. I told you that lining up would not be necessary for the iPad Air. Again, I was right. Now, I'm telling you, if you want to pick one of these up in person, you need to hit the Apple Store as soon as you get the green light. Burn rubber. They will be in short supply.