On Friday, Apple’s iPad mini and 4th generation iPad went on sale, and lines were shorter than other product launches. However, other retail locations experienced heavier traffic than usual and although hurricane Sandy prevented some customers from coming out to buy an iPad mini, Apple’s Fifth Ave Retail store sold out of iPad minis within two hours of going on sale. According to a report from Fortune, the Fifth Avenue store located on the East Side of Manhattan had over 800 people in line when the store opened at 10:00 AM, although the store was scheduled to open at 8:00 AM.
According to the records Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster has been keeping since 2008 (see below), that’s more customers than turned out for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S.
And by 9:56 a.m. — four minutes before the doors finally opened — I counted 801 men, women and children. Only the iPhone 4 (1,300) and iPad 2 (1,190) drew bigger crowds.
An analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, Brian White noted that all three models of the White/Silver iPad mini were sold out at the Fifth ave location in a little over an hour, followed by the black models another 2 hours later.
We are at Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City and our checks now indicate that all of the White & Silver iPad mini models sold out at around 11:15 AM. We estimate that the 16GB and 64GB were sold out by 10:30 AM ET and the 32GB sold out at around 11:15 AM ET. [...]
As of 11:40 AM ET, both the 16GB and 32GB Black & Slate iPad mini models were sold out at the Fifth Avenue NYC store; while we estimate the 64GB iPad mini sold out at around 12:10 PM ET.
Apple also experienced moderate lines at its Upper West Side store, located less than 2 miles from its flagship Fifth Ave location. The customers online at this location likely came over from the Fifth ave location, where Apple had to start cutting off lines after selling out. As customers entered the Upper West Side store with their tickets in hand, Apple employees cheered them on and then led them over to the iPad minis, stacked at the back of the store. It is unclear exactly how many of each capacity or color was available at each store, however, stocks of the new device will ease in the coming weeks, as demand meets distribution.