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Regional carriers are starting to announce availability for cellular models of Apple’s new Retina iPad mini just as the company today started offering the device to walk-in customers.

Bluegrass Cellular announced today that it is now offering the iPad mini Wi-Fi Cellular models in-store and online. Available on the carrier’s website now starting at the usual $530 for the 16GB model, the carrier is also offering all three models (16GB, 32GB, and 64GB) on its no-contract “Freedom, Expanded” plan. That allows customers to make 12 monthly payments to get the device they want with the ability to trade-in and upgrade to a new device after a year. That plan will run $26.50/month for the 16GB model on Bluegrass, $31.50/month for the $630 32GB model, or $36.50/month for the $730 64GB model. The carrier appears to only have Space Gray models of the device available, at least online, and the Freedom Expanded plans are only available in-store. Another regional carrier, C Spire Wireless, will begin selling the Retina iPad mini over the next week. UpdateU.S. Cellular has also begun cellular iPad mini with Retina Display sales today on its website.

In other Retina iPad mini news, we’ve just received word Apple has just started selling the device to walk-in customers in its retail stores following an initial launch for Personal Pickup orders only.

The Personal Pickup option is still available online, while online orders of the Retina iPad mini are currently expected to ship in 5-10 days from Apple’s website. It’s unclear how much stock will available to walk-in customers across Apple’s retail stores, so your best bet might still be to order online for delivery or personal pickup.

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9 Responses to “Apple Stores start selling Retina iPad mini to walk-in customers as regional carriers launch cellular models”

  1. PMZanetti says:

    Having finally gotten to play with one in-store, I’m incredibly glad I got an iPad Air instead. The Retina display is for whatever reason not particularly impressive on the mini…at all…and the increased thickness is definitely noticeable.

    The iPad Air is by far superior….much more than $100 superior. Despite being a full 7.9″, the mini is just too small to be an iPad.

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    • daving313 says:

      Odd. I actually returned the Air and got the Retina Mini instead. Everyone has their own reasons.

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      • PMZanetti says:

        Of course. There is nothing wrong with the mini…except that its not an iPad. And calling it an iPad just seems wrong when you use it. The UI is SMALL. Almost iPhone-small.

        The mini is really a big iPhone, not a small iPad. Nothing wrong with that, I just don’t see the mini being an option for anyone who wants an “iPad”.

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    • Brett Huhn says:

      Actually, it is an iPad and saying it is NOT so only confirms that you needed to take a closer look. To me,the larger iPad Air is just too large as evidenced by the one I own that just sits there and is NOT used except by house guests. Being emphatic does not make one right. It just makes one look like an old fart

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  2. sammurrayuk says:

    I much prefer the mini to the Air, all about the portability and it fits in my pocket.

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