Remember when Apple product launches were exciting? Well, it looks like we may be reacquainted with that lost feeling. I believe that the iPad mini with Retina Display is one of the most secretive and surprising launches we’ve seen from Apple in a long time. Let me explain.
Prior to its official unveiling, we didn’t know much about the next generation iPad mini. Sure, there were some back housings that had leaked prior to the announcement, but those parts didn’t really give us any hints. The leaked “iPad mini 2” housings that surfaced very well could have been casings from the first generation. After all, they look identical.
The biggest mystery before Apple announced the new iPad mini was whether or not it would include a Retina display. Until that moment, the Blogosphere had no concrete evidence that this product would actually happen this year. Of course, we all *assumed* it would happen based on Apple’s release trends, rumors, and supply chain reports, but again, there was nothing (as far as leaks go) that pointed to an iPad mini with Retina Display. Prior to the launch of the third generation iPad, its Retina LCD panel was leaked and everything was out in the open at that point.
The takeaway here is that Apple did a great job at keeping the miniature Retina LCD hidden. I’m not sure if this had to do with the manufacturer side of things, or if Apple was keeping a tight leash on its supply chain. Either way, they definitely kept that Retina panel hidden and the rumors continued to snowball. Obviously, this is great for Apple. They love all of the hype and exposure, and the best part is, all of this excitement was created over nothing but rumors.
After all of the anticipation leading up to the Retina iPad mini’s announcement, Apple decided that it would be better to keep us on our toes. During the keynote, Apple never specified a solid release date for the iPad mini with Retina Display. Being a blogger/YouTube creator, this type of thing can get annoying. In this industry, everything is about timing, speculation, and planning, and with no official date, I can’t plan anything. So as you can imagine, this type of product launch can be rather difficult.
Outside of my passion, hobby, and job, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Apple made this launch exciting. We had absolutely no idea when the new iPad mini would be released. Apple said it would launch “later in November,” and that’s exactly what happened. Rumors sparked on the night of Nov. 11, 2013 when an internal Apple tool stated that the Retina iPad mini would launch the following day.
Most of the blogs that are dedicated to covering Apple approached this with a lot of skepticism, and to be honest, I was completely skeptical as well. This could have been an error or a typo. Shortly after the release rumor spread like a wildfire, the Apple Store online was taken down for maintenance. Normally, such a thing would be overlooked as Apple tends to do this type of thing on a semi-regular basis, but combined with the recent launch day rumor, it was very hard to ignore.
I decided to pull an all-nighter and wait until at least 12:01 PDT to see if anything would pop up on the Apple Store online, and thankfully that paid off. Apple launched the iPad mini with Retina Display at 12:01 PDT on Nov. 12, 2013. It was definitely a surprise, a very lovely. stunning, beautiful, glorious, colorful, and high resolution surprise.
As much as I hate chasing down a product with such a random release date, it actually brought back a lot of that excitement that I’ve been missing for a little while. There were no obvious leaks and we didn’t even get a solid release date. Apple just did what they do best, and when the timing was right for Apple, they gave us the iPad mini with Retina Display. Lovely.
Three cheers for random product releases.