The easier way to buy an iPad Air (and soon, the new iPad mini)

Sections: Apple News, Apple Online and Retail Store, iPad Air, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Originals

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buy an iPad Air

For one reason or another—and I’ll assume it’s not because they hate men my age—Apple has decided to stop allowing online preorders of their products. They did this with the iPhone 5s (though, oddly, not the iPhone 5c), and they’ve now down it with the iPad Air. Of course, I need one of these for reporting purposes (and because I just want one), so that means I have to get in line at the local Apple Store at some ungodly hour, right? Wrong.

My local Apple Store is in a mall. Apple’s website said the store is opening early today for the launch, but the mall still said it doesn’t open until 10am. I called the Apple Store to see what gives, and the friendly fellow—after checking with someone else—told me the mall will open at 7am. I asked him what time he felt I should get there to guarantee I’ll get an iPad Air, and after some conversation about this, he suggested, “If you don’t want to wait in line, you could buy the iPad online and set it for store pickup, that way we’ll have it set aside for you.”


I’m not sure why this didn’t occur to me before. I’m used to getting up at 3am to get the order in and have the product delivered to my door, so that’s a routine I can handle.

Early this morning I did just that. Up at 2:55, order the iPad Air, feed the cat, take care of some biological business, then back in bed at 3:15. Now that I’m up and showered, I check my e-mail, and there’s this:

buy an iPad Air

I like this. I’m not one to stand in line for anything that doesn’t end in a burrito or a roller coaster ride, so I’m happy to spend my morning writing articles instead of waiting in a line outside a mall in order to wait in a line outside of a store.

It may be too late for you to do the same, but for those purchasing the iPad mini with Retina display, which is likely to have a supply shortage, this will greatly increase your chances of getting one on drop day. Good luck!

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  • Quang Pham

    This. I like this!
    Now I know that they have set aside a small quantity specifically for personal pick up. Do you think they will (be able to) do the same with the Retina Mini? (Due to supply constraints and stuffs.)

    • Kirk Hiner

      I’d give it a try. If you’re able to reserve it for pick up, you’ll save yourself a lot of line waiting. If you REALLY want to play it safe, get in line the night before at an Apple Store, and at midnight PST, go online and try to reserve one for pickup. If it works, go home, get some sleep, and head back in the morning! If it doesn’t, you’re already in line.

  • Truffol

    For those who just want to buy in store would also recommend

    Looks like there’s plenty of stock for 16gb and 32gb models at most stores.

  • Kirk Hiner

    Apple Tracker (and other such sites) are good for locating a device once it’s released, but Apple’s in-store pickup preorders are better for launch day.

    And you’re right about iPad Air availability. I unfortunately found myself at Walmart Friday night, and they had a few iPad Airs still in stock. We’ll find out soon if that’s due to lack of interest or abundance of supply.

  • Uunique

    Why do some people have to get these gadgets as soon as they’re launched. Why not, just like me, wait couple more days and then get without any hassle. I would certainly not get up at 3am just to buy something. Well, that’s just me I guess

    • Kirk Hiner

      Well, I do it so I can write about them. For others, it’s mostly the appeal of having the latest and greatest right away, coupled with the fact that you never know when it’ll be hard to grab a low stock item. Quite often with Apple products, if you don’t get it on launch day, you could be waiting a few months.

  • http://N/A james

    its not just you pal, me TOO!! i wait alot longer in some cases to see what others say about theirs (that they got up at 3am for) and a ‘hopeful’ drop in price