Review roundup: The Retina iPad mini verdict is ‘pricey but best small tablet ever’

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A Retina display may have been some time coming on the iPad mini, but the general verdict appears to be that it was worth the wait.

Many are querying the price, especially now that the full-size iPad Air is so much smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and costs just $100 more. But if portability is key, reviewers seem every bit as impressed by the iPad mini as I was by the Air.

Read on for the conclusions from five early reviews …  Read more

Initial Retina iPad mini Apple Store rollout to be exclusive to Personal Pickup, Apple issues press release

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Due to “limited supply” and “high demand,” the new iPad mini with Retina display will be available at Apple Stores exclusively through the Personal Pickup service for the time-being. Personal Pickup allows a customer to purchase a Retina iPad mini via the Apple Online Store, then pick it up at an Apple Retail location of their choosing. This also means that a customer who wants a Retina iPad mini cannot simply walk-in to an Apple Store and buy one (yet). It’s likely that Apple will allow walk-in purchases when demand meets supply. Apple notified its retail employees of the current sales exclusivity to Personal Pickup customers, and Apple’s own retail website seems to imply similar…

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Best Buy & Walmart Black Friday ads bring the year’s best Apple deals

From 9to5Toys.com:

Yesterday it was Target. Today the Best Buy and Walmart Black Friday / Thanksgiving deal advertisements are now official. Both ads feature heavy discounting on iPads, iTunes cards, iPods, Macs, and more. The most impressive deals at Walmart include an iPad mini for $299 with a free $100 gift card, and free gift card offers with the purchase of an iPhone 5c/5c. Best Buy offers up to $200 off a new Mac laptop, 15% off iTunes cards, and an Apple TV for $85.

While we haven’t seen Apple’s Black Friday deals for this year, it’s pretty safe to assume they won’t stray too far from the ‘education pricing for all’ strategy implemented at preceding Black Friday promotions.

Head over to 9to5toys for complete coverage of these ads and all others that have leaked thus far as well as best deals as they happen. Read more

Report: GlobalFoundries Apple tie-in not as big a deal as it sounds, might be overflow supply line

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Suggestions that Apple is looking to chipmaker GlobalFoundries to reduce its reliance on Samsung chips are rather wide of the mark, according to sources cited by AllThingsD. The rumors followed a story in the Albany Times Union that Apple might be looking to the Malta, New York, chipmaker to make iPhone and iPad chips.

In the most likely scenario, Samsung will still be the primary manufacturer of Apple’s chips for the iPhone and iPad, they said, continuing the role it has played since the earliest days of the iPhone: Building the chips that Apple designs under contract [...]

Samsung will use GlobalFoundries for what is known as “flex capacity.” This is a long-standing industry practice under which a chip manufacturer pays to occasionally use another company’s factories when demand on their own factory is running higher than they would like, and they need a little help …  Read more

Another report claims short supply of Retina iPad mini due to display shortages from Sharp

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Following several reports this month and hints from Tim Cook that Retina iPad mini stock could be in short supply when the device launches next month, the hit and miss DigiTimes reports today that the shortages are due to limited supply of displays from Apple’s supplier Sharp. Specifically, the report claims that Sharp’s “Oxide TFT process is seeing low yield rates” leading to a less than ideal supply of  7.9-inch Retina panels. Sharp accounts for around 40% of the displays for iPad mini with Retina display production, while LG Display is providing the other approximately 60%, according to the report: Read more