Preorder white iPad Minis sell out ‘almost immediately’; Amazon doesn’t hesitate to compare prices, features

We now know how the iPad Mini preorders went over the weekend: according to AppleInsider’s Sam Oliver, Apple sold out of both models in about 35 hours.

The white and silver-backed one sold out “almost immediately,” while the black and slate-backed device took a little longer.

There’s been no official word from Apple as to exactly how many units were sold, but the company has historically not been shy about sharing large sales figures with us…meaning, if it was a success, numbers-wise, we’ll know soon enough.

Meanwhile, Amazon did not take the iPad Mini’s release lying down. This past weekend the company ran an ad on the front page claiming its Kindle Fire HD tablet offered “much more for much less.”

The ad that appeared on the site over the weekend.

More from AppleInsider’s Oliver:

As Apple sold out of its launch inventory of all iPad mini models, online retailer Amazon made a direct assault on the new 7.9-inch tablet, with a large ad on its front page saying the Kindle Fire HD offers “much more for much less.”

As the iPad mini was available for preorder at Apple’s website all weekend, Amazon ran an advertisement on its front page comparing the Kindle Fire HD to the iPad mini. It panned Apple’s new, smaller iPad as having a “standard definition, low-resolution display” with fewer pixels per inch than its Kindle Fire HD.

Amazon also dismissed the fact that the iPad mini has one mono speaker, while the Kindle Fire HD has dual stereo speakers. Amazon’s tablet with a 216-pixel-per-inch screen starts at $199, while the iPad mini has an entry price of $329.

Okay, so let’s be fair here. I’ll accept the above comparison…but–again, in the interests of a more rounded feature list–we need to add a few items.

Kindle Fire HD:

  •  No cellular connection; Wifi only
  •  ??? number of apps
  •  Requires $15 to turn off Ad Banner at bottom of screen
  •  Cameras: Front–1.3 megapixel (MP), no HD video; Rear–none

 iPad Mini:

  • 3G/LTE cellular connectivity; Wifi (improved over previous models)
  • 275,000 iPad apps, designed for the iPad and that will run properly on the device
  • No ad banners
  • Cameras: Front–1.2 MP, 720p HD video; Rear–5.0 MP, 1080p HD video

On the subject of the Fire’s HD display vs. The iPad Mini’s standard one, here’s a different look that you really should read. (There are many informative illustrations.)

Here’s an excerpt:

When Apple introduced the iPad mini, they spent quite a bit of time comparing it to the Google Nexus 7, especially when it came to the merits of the iPad mini’s 4:3, 7.9-inch screen over the 16:10, 7-inch screen of the Nexus 7. Physical screen size is only one factor, however. There’s also screen resolution to consider, something Apple often touts with their Retina display products like the iPhone 5, iPod touch 5, iPad 4, and MacBook Pro. But not the iPad mini. So, when we put everything on the table, how well does the iPad mini stack up not only to the Nexus 7, but the similarly screened Amazon Kindle Fire HD?

Apple’s math highlighted the 35% larger physical screen size (29.6 square inches vs. 21.9 square inches). When Amazon announced their quarterly loss last week, however, they switched the topic to screen resolution, and measured the iPad mini’s 1024×768, 163 ppi display against the Kindle Fire HD’s (identical to Nexus 7) 1280×800, 254 ppi display. Amazon’s math worked out to 30% more pixels (1,024,000 vs. 786,432 pixels) and 33% higher pixel density (216 vs. 163).

Here’s how the iPad mini and Nexus 7/Kindle Fire HD 7 compare in terms of physical screen size (left), and in terms of pixel count (right). For the purposes of these diagrams, the iPad mini will always be represented in RED and the Nexus 7/Kindle Fire HD in BLUE. The squares superimposed on top will provide a constant, relative measure for the pixel sizes of of the displays (the lower the density, the bigger the pixel size.)

That means things will look bigger on the iPad mini (bigger pixels), but you’ll see more things on the Android tablets (more pixels). The iPad mini also has greater height (in landscape orientation) and width (in portrait orientation), thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio. That’s great for anything that requires reading, including ebooks, web pages, and even multi-column interfaces.

This battle is just beginning. When you add in the Nexus 7’s pluses and minuses, this becomes as complicated and engaging as three-dimensional chess.

This is the first mobile device category that Apple cannot and did not create. The iPod, iPhone and iPad came to (at least initially) define their respective categories, and others tried to copy their successes. That won’t happen here–the 7- to 8-inch modern touch tablet was created in response to the iPad, when it was determined that others could not (again, at least initially) compete with it. Apple is the one joining the others, not the other way around.

That could be huge in this competition, and it has already started.

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