Apple Store comes back online with Retina iPad mini, exclusive holiday offers

The iPad mini with Retina display went on sale through the Apple Online Store. The news was prefaced by an internal memo that leaked from Apple’s GSX tool. The device is available in the United States, Australia, China (no LTE models yet), Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The release comes at an unexpected time. Apple didn’t officially announce the release date ahead of time, saying only that the device would be available sometime this month. In fact, aside from a memo that was released to employees only hours before the tablet went live on the Apple Online Store, there was no indication that it would be released this week at all.

Availability dates for other iPad models, such as the iPad Air that went on sale earlier this month, have usually been announced in advance to give retailers and customers time to plan for the release.