With little to no fanfare, Apple this week released the iPad Mini with Retina Display. There were no slickly produced videos accompanying the launch nor were there any grand pronouncements from Apple. Indeed, if you don't regularly follow Apple blogs, you might have been completely unaware that the iPad Mini with Retina Display was even available yet. Apple, for its part, simply updated its online store and issued a press release early on Tuesday morning.
Naturally, some folks began wondering why Apple didn't create more of a hoopla surrounding the iPad Mini with Retina Display launch. While Apple has been known to implement subtle product upgrades from time to time, the iPad Mini with Retina Display is a highly anticipated product that is without question a step above its predecessor. You would think that a launch of such a product would be accompanied by a little bit more pomp and circumstance.
So what gives? What might have prompted Apple to seemingly roll out its second-gen iPad Mini under the cover of darkness, so to speak?
Addressing that very question, Ed Dale offers a theory which I think is spot-on.
The last thing Apple wants is 100's of customers turning up everyday to be dissapointed in a store which is meant to be a happy place – Apple does not want their stores to be associated with disappointment and frustration!!
From the get-go, we knew that supply of the iPad Mini with Retina Display was going to be constrained. Tim Cook admitted as much during Apple's October earnings conference call, noting that it wasn't clear if Apple was going to "have enough" stock of the new iPad Mini at launch.
As it already stands, finding the right model iPhone 5s is still a taxing endeavor, and that device was released nearly two months ago. While new Apple products tend to be in short supply at launch, the limited availability of the iPhone 5s really took things to an entirely new level.
As Dale astutely observes, Apple wants its stores to be places where people can go and have a positive shopping experience. The last thing they want is to create a dynamic where new product releases are greeted by lukewarm responses along the lines of, "eh, why bother trying to get one when they'll be out of stock for 2 months anyways."
By releasing the iPad Mini with Retina Display somewhat under the radar, Apple, to a certain extent, can limit the disappointment that necessarily accompanies the "sorry, we're out of stock" response.