Rumour: Apple to offer iPad Air in-store pickup starting Friday

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Apple is set to publicly launch its recently announced iPad Air on Friday and according to reports it will be offering online customers the option to select in-store pickup right from day one.

MacRumors has it from its sources inside one of the Apple Retail stores that customers will be able to order an iPad Air online and can pick it up from one of the Apple Retails stores of their choice starting Friday. Apple hasn’t started taking pre-orders for the iPad Air yet, and it is expected that the company will start taking orders from 12:01 a.m. Pacific on Friday.

If the in-store pickup option during the launch weekend is indeed true, it would be a rather unusual move for Apple as supplies are always constrained during the first couple of weeks of launch. However, if that is the case, it seems that Cupertino is confident that it will be able to meet with walk-in customer orders, online deliver orders as well as online in-store pickup orders.

However, this wouldn’t be the case for iPad Mini 2 with Retina display as Tim Cook himself has acknowledged that Retina display panels are in short supply and they are not sure if they will be able to fulfill the demands during the launch quarter. Well before Cook acknowledged the shortage, the upstream supply chain was already abuzz with reports that there was a huge shortage of Retina display panels which will snowball into shortage of iPad Mini 2 across the globe.

Given the shortage of the display panels, Apple may not be able to bring order to iPad Mini 2 supply demand chaos till early 2014, if the tablet turns out to be more popular than anticipated.