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iPad Mini With Retina Display Goes on Sale (Update 2)

Updated from 9:10 a.m. EST to include analyst comments in the fifth paragraph.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPad mini with Retina Display officially went on sale on Apple's Web site in a rather curious and un-Apple-like move.

The iPad mini went on sale in the middle of the night, unlike previous products, including the iPad Air, which went on sale earlier this month.  It looks like Apple may already be having supply constraints on the new iPad mini, judging by available-to-ship dates. The 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi models are available to ship in one to three business days, while the 64GB, 128GB Wi-Fi models and all of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) models are available to ship in five to 10 business days.

"The response to iPad Air has been incredible, and we're excited for customers to experience the new iPad mini with Retina display," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, in a press release Tuesday. "We think customers will love both of these thin, light, powerful new iPads, and we're working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers."

Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook said he expects this holiday season to be an "iPad Christmas," following the launch of both new tablets. "I think it's going to be an iPad Christmas," Cook said on Apple's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call. "But we will see.  We will report the numbers back to you in January how we did, but we feel pretty confident."

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White, who rates Apple shares "buy" with a $777 price target, noted the supply constraints with the iPad mini. "We believe today's stealth pre-order launch of the iPad mini speaks to the supply constraints around this new device as we have previously discussed," White wrote in a note.

The iPad Air received rave reviews from industry experts, and the iPad mini with Retina Display has the same internals. Both tablets sport Apple's new A7 and M7 chips, Retina Display, and come in new color schemes of silver and space gray.

Shares of Apple were higher in Tuesday trading, up 0.5% to $521.75.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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