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Apple's iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 now available for pickup at select US Apple Stores

Apple on Wednesday initiated in-store sales of its new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 tablets, though the rollout appears to be limited to the UK and select U.S. locations, notably brick-and-mortar outlets on the East Coast.

The Online Apple Store's in-store pickup stock tool is currently listing the new iPads as available for purchase from brick-and-mortar locations along the U.S. East Coast, but spot checks at areas farther west are still showing "Ships to Apple Store," meaning the devices are not yet in stock.

AppleInsider confirmed the online stocking system information with calls to local Apple Stores. Those locations that did not yet have the devices up for sale said to check back later as they expect shipments to arrive late today or early Thursday.

Interestingly, certain iPad mini 3 models are not yet shipping out to Apple Stores, being listed as "Coming Soon" on Apple's online storefront. Subsequent calls to Apple Stores also confirmed this status, with representatives less sure about upcoming availability.

Apple announced the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 at a special event last week. The Air 2 packs in an A8X SoC, laminated display with antireflective coating and 10-hour battery life in a chassis slimmed-down to only 6.1mm thick, while the iPad mini 3 offers minimal improvements over last year's model, bringing only Touch ID and a gold color option to the table.

Initial reviews for Apple's latest tablets were largely positive, though almost all assessments characterized the changes as evolutionary rather than revolutionary. AppleInsider has provided an unboxing and will publish a review soon.