While Apple is expected to sell far less iPads this weekend than it did with its tablet launch earlier this year, one of the company's major stores is already sold out.
Apple's "cube" store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, sold out of both iPad Mini models in about two hours. The white model sold out first, analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets wrote in a note this morning, followed about an hour later by the black.
"We believe these early stock outs are driven by the combination of strong demand, combined with a shortage of supply due to the constraints we discussed during our recent Asia Technology Tour," White said, adding that the sellout is "driving customers to buy the fourth-generation iPad," which also went on sale today.
New York is currently recovering from extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, which has left major portions of the city with water damage and without electricity. Nonetheless, lines gathered outside the Fifth Avenue store ahead of the launch. The company's retail locations in SoHo and West 14th Street remain closed, while the other three stores in the region opened up two hours late.
White estimates that Apple will sell 800,000 to 1 million Minis during its launch weekend. The numbers are similar to ones put out by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster earlier today that pegged Mini sales at 1 million to 1.5 million units, a number that could grow larger including fourth-generation iPad sales.
As a frame of reference, Apple sold 3 million iPads during the launch weekend of the third-generation model earlier this year, a release that matched up with the annual cycle the company set up with previous models. Apple broke that with the surprise announcement of a fourth-generation model with newer internals and a Lightning port at its event in late October.
Apple is expected to announce initial sales numbers of the device, which launched in 34 countries today, early next week.