Customers snapped up all Apple's stock of white iPad Minis within hours of the new tablet becoming available for pre-order Friday, but black versions were still available for delivery next week.
Apple announced the new tablet line on Tuesday, but some analysts had voiced doubts about its sales prospects given that its price tag of 329 dollars is significantly higher than similarly sized tablets from rivals like Google and Amazon.
However strong demand was noticeable within minutes of the new device going on sale, with CNN reporting that it took just 20 minutes for the pre-order allocation of white iPad Minis to sell out.
Apple also indicated in its earnings report Thursday that expectations for the launch of the mini-tablet may have crimped demand for regular iPads in the just-completed quarter. The company's financial results missed analyst expectations and sent its stock below 600 dollars Friday for the first time since July.
Microsoft also released its new Surface RT tablet and Windows 8 operating system to consumers on Friday and lengthy lines were reported at the company's stores throughout the U.S.
The Surface, with a starting price of $499 is the first computer that the PC software giant has ever made. It is deemed crucial to the company's attempt to carve out a foothold in the market for tablets and other mobile devices which are often preferred by consumers to traditional PCs. Microsoft sold out of the Surface RT in pre-orders more than a week before the devices became available Friday in stores.
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