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MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
935
370
I just learned that a buddy was diagnosed with cancer and will have surgery probably in 2 weeks.
I want to buy a maxed out iPad Mini especially for him to use while in hospital and during any radiation if needed afterwards.

I am surprised to see the long wait times (Nov 17-24 delivery for Starlight, 256gb, WiFi + Cellular).
Thought people were complaining about the Mini? ;-)

I don't see them in stock anywhere. (Best Buy, Target, B&H Photo, Adorama)

Would it be possible to find a returned iPad Mini in store at end of day?

I tried calling the local Austin TX store in the Domain. No one answered, and after a lot of ringing it just disconnected my call.
 
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Realityck

macrumors 68020
Nov 9, 2015
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Silicon Valley, CA
I just learned that a buddy was diagnosed with cancer and will have surgery probably in 2 weeks.
I want to buy a maxed out iPad Mini especially for him to use while in hospital and during any radiation if needed afterwards.

I am surprised to see the long wait times (Nov 17-24 delivery for Starlight, 256gb, WiFi + Cellular).
Thought people were complaining about the Mini? ;-)

I don't see them in stock anywhere. (Best Buy, Target, B&H Photo, Adorama)

Would it be possible to find a returned iPad Mini in store at end of day?

I tried calling the local Austin TX store in the Domain. No one answered, and after a lot of ringing it just disconnected my call.
If you are looking for what's available, don't call, you check via online. See this post. I got my M1 iMac and Mini 6 just by checking what's available for local pickup for particular configurations. If available after ordered you will choose a pickup time at the store that has it in stock.

Sorry to hear about your buddy, best wishes with his treatment.
 

VineRider

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2018
897
672
Try Microcenter. They have stock in Dallas and Houston. In store pickup only, but you might be able to drive fron Austin area to pick up, or if you know someone in either of these areas that could pick up for you.

microcenter.com
 
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Davidalan

macrumors 6502
Nov 20, 2012
308
133
If you have an Apple device, use the shopping app. When it comes to the selection choose pick up in a store near you. When it shows not available for pick up, you can choose to look around and see if any in any configuration is available.
 

WildSky

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
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East of the sun, west of the moon
That's very good advice to use the Apple Store app from @Davidalan. It allows you to see which configurations are available nearby and it can change daily. Tap buy, pick a configuration (any config just to get to the availability screen). Once you see below the image of the iPad where it says Pickup: currently unavailable at ... tap Check Another Store. And you'll see a screen like this:

1633915972914.png


Play with different configurations and colors, and expand the store search area. I only typed in Texas for the location and found one, but you can do what makes sense for your area.

Sorry about your friend and tell him we're rooting for his recovery. He's lucky to have a friend like you.
 

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
935
370
Code:
If you are looking for what's available, don't call, you check via online. See this post. I got my M1 iMac and Mini 6 just by checking what's available for local pickup for particular configurations. If available after ordered you will choose a pickup time at the store that has it in stock.

Sorry to hear about your buddy, best wishes with his treatment.
Thank you @Realityck @Davidalan and @WildSky
I'll keep that page open on my iPad & refresh during the day.

I saw a YouTube posted here where the host was using the Mini over cellular as a portable gaming device. He's a PC gamer but I bet he'd dig it. Doubt they'd let him lug his PC setup in the hospital :).

Given that (gaming) use case, the needed specs seem set: 256 GB + Cellular, either space grey or starlight.
(Can't see him with pink or purple)

I just ordered one with engraving, but that is scheduled to take forever (Nov 17 !)
Lots could happen between now and then for him.
So I hope one magically appears in the store. I could always have it etched? with the planned engraving later I s'pose.
 

Davidalan

macrumors 6502
Nov 20, 2012
308
133
Since you already ordered one, don’t stop looking daily for availability. Best time to check is usually just before store opening in your time zone, then in late morning or early afternoon, those are more likely receiving time at the store. If you find one take it, and cancel the one have on order as long as it hasn’t moved to preparing to ship. If it has moved to that status, or has shipped, once you receive it, you can return it via shipping or directly at any apple store. For the most part I believe you have 14 days to return.
 

WildSky

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
4,842
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East of the sun, west of the moon
Since you already ordered one, don’t stop looking daily for availability. Best time to check is usually just before store opening in your time zone, then in late morning or early afternoon, those are more likely receiving time at the store. If you find one take it, and cancel the one have on order as long as it hasn’t moved to preparing to ship. If it has moved to that status, or has shipped, once you receive it, you can return it via shipping or directly at any apple store. For the most part I believe you have 14 days to return.
Personalized items can't be returned in store per the Return Policy:

"The only exchange exceptions are personalized items (such as engraved iPhone, iPad, or AirPods) and Macs that have been custom-configured. These items cannot be exchanged in store; they can only be returned and your refund will be issued to the payment method you used on your order (per the guidelines in our Standard Return Policy)."

 
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MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
935
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If the engraved order progresses in the shipping progress where I can't cancel it, I definitely will take receipt and give that one. The engraving makes it extra special, but also it wouldn't seem "right" to return it just because one became available earlier in that 1 week-ish? period when the order is not cancelable.

When I returned an Apple Watch S5 on order because one became available earlier in store, I made sure I didn't open the shipping box at all so that Apple could sell it as new. Yes I know Apple is a big rich company, but I don't want to destroy someone else's $profits and the environment needlessly.

But I really hope I find one before Nov 17.

Unrelated Question:
Any thoughts on how I could disguise the iPad Mini present / the box as something else?
Or make it a dramatic presentation :) ?

For context...
When I bought my boyfriend a new TV for the 2016 Olympics, I texted him during the day very upset that I accidentally cracked the glass of the current TV while cleaning. This sticker applied to the front of the TV, with the right light, was VERY convincing. He was so confused about how I could crack the TV glass while cleaning, and what in the world was I cleaning :-D.

I texted him back: "Don't worry. I was able to fix the TV glass crack with some Superglue."

When he arrived home, the new (LG OLED...) was already installed,
I said, "See, I bet you can't tell the difference where I fixed it" ! :)

1633970330822.png
 
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WildSky

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
4,842
4,061
East of the sun, west of the moon
For context...
When I bought my boyfriend a new TV for the 2016 Olympics, I texted him during the day very upset that I accidentally cracked the glass of the current TV while cleaning. This sticker applied to the front of the TV, with the right light, was VERY convincing. He was so confused about how I could crack the TV glass while cleaning, and what in the world was I cleaning :-D.

I texted him back: "Don't worry. I was able to fix the TV glass crack with some Superglue."

When he arrived home, the new (LG OLED...) was already installed,
I said, "See, I bet you can't tell the difference where I fixed it" ! :)
That's so funny. I'd love to know what his reaction was.

I don't have any great ideas for the iPad Mini except since the box is so small, you could do a box within a box within a box etc. After what you did with the TV, I'm sure you'll come up with something much funnier.
 
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Realityck

macrumors 68020
Nov 9, 2015
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Silicon Valley, CA
Personally I wouldn’t order it if you want it sooner, it would only require a few days checking local pick up at stores to get what you want. At such a point in time you cannot cancel that order with engraving.

I can enter at this moment and find several stores having most of the configurations available to order for pickup right now. Some configurations + specific color are unavailable. If you want a 64 GB Wifi model or a 256 GB + Cell model they are showing online.
Screen Shot 2021-10-11 at 10.14.04 AM.png



Screen Shot 2021-10-11 at 10.09.24 AM.png
 
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macintoshmac

macrumors 603
May 13, 2010
5,198
5,740
Thank you @Moneymiike420 , Maybe as a temp, but I know he'd enjoy a higher end one more.

My response is purely out of what I think my priorities would be:

I would be thinking about my family and fighting for survival, a godforsaken 'maxed out' Apple product would be the least on my list of priorities in such a case.

Coming from the giver's perspective, if the giver is giving a loaner, by all means, they should get the device they want to use when they get it back in any of the possible outcomes in the situation.
 

TechRunner

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2016
114
128
Get a box of chocolates (a somewhat typical hospital gift) where the box would be big enough to hide the Mini sealed in its box, replace the chocolates with the Mini, then put a nice ribbon on it and give it to him. When he opened it, he would think those chocolates were pretty sweet!
 

RoadWarrior56

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2014
112
166
I just learned that a buddy was diagnosed with cancer and will have surgery probably in 2 weeks.
I want to buy a maxed out iPad Mini especially for him to use while in hospital and during any radiation if needed afterwards.

I am surprised to see the long wait times (Nov 17-24 delivery for Starlight, 256gb, WiFi + Cellular).
Thought people were complaining about the Mini? ;-)

I don't see them in stock anywhere. (Best Buy, Target, B&H Photo, Adorama)

Would it be possible to find a returned iPad Mini in store at end of day?

I tried calling the local Austin TX store in the Domain. No one answered, and after a lot of ringing it just disconnected my call.
Good luck in finding your friend that Mini 6. I had returned one to Apple nearly 2 weeks ago due to eyestrain (the Mini was fine, it was the fault of my eyes). But I will tell you that are an amazingly good friend in trying to do this for him. An iPad is great idea for this purpose IMHO. Had you thought of purchasing him a different iPad model that might be in stock? In any case, I hope he lands on his feet and beats his cancer and everything works our for both of you.
 

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
935
370
That's so funny. I'd love to know what his reaction was.

At first: Confusion. I had the superglue and work gloves on a nearby table like I had just made the repair.
I was profusely apologizing for cracking our best TV right before the Olympics and football season.

Then, I quickly said "I'll show you - I bet you can't see the crack."
(he had texted me earlier that a superglue repaired crack in TV glass would look horrible) 🤣😂
I brought up the LG OLED demo screens off a USB stick that looked drop dead amazing. (Yes, the blacks really are so black...)
In 2016 it was heads and tails over any other TV to my eyes.

Then he said: "OMG you are the best girlfriend EVER." :)


I don't have any great ideas for the iPad Mini except since the box is so small, you could do a box within a box within a box etc. After what you did with the TV, I'm sure you'll come up with something much funnier.

Actually, that helps.

What about the iPad mini inside of a very retro board game.
Something the opposite of his high tech gaming setup.

Candyland? Battleship?

I could pretend to be all excited to play Candyland with him while he gets chemo.
Although I enjoy marksmanship with the real thing, bowling pin shoots, etc. I'm not into the violent shoot-em-up games. The most into gaming I've explored is Plants vs Zombies. The zombies trying to eat my brains are so cute! :)

His spirits are better than I'd expect. Hard to know what to say. Anything could be the wrong thing.
I told him that he's so trendy, getting a cancer diagnosis in October - Cancer Awareness month / Crucial Catch in the NFL. He seemed mildly amused ;-).
 

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
935
370
If you want a 64 GB Wifi model or a 256 GB + Cell model they are showing online.

Dang - I searched a couple times yesterday and didn't see a 256 GB + cell model become available.

I wonder if I need to force-quit the iOS app to make it really trigger a new inventory check?

I just can't accept the idea of a 64 GB model. We both have ragged on how unusable 64 GB iPhones are...
I'd rather get him something completely different in the interim.
 

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
935
370
What about putting the mini box inside a first aid kit box? You could cover the mini box with a supply of unopened band-aids (like some bacon band-aids or other silly ones) ...

When it happens, hope you'll post back to let us know you got the mini you wanted and how you disguised it.

Ha! OMG Bacon band-aids - I will check those out!

I like the idea of a first aid kit / box, but with practical things that help people in treatment.
(ex: someone told me those ginger health drinks from Costco.)
 
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WildSky

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
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East of the sun, west of the moon
Dang - I searched a couple times yesterday and didn't see a 256 GB + cell model become available.

I wonder if I need to force-quit the iOS app to make it really trigger a new inventory check?

I just can't accept the idea of a 64 GB model. We both have ragged on how unusable 64 GB iPhones are...
I'd rather get him something completely different in the interim.
What about an iPad Air 256GB? yes, it's more expensive but they're really great (I have one). They're readily available in Austin, cellular too. Add a Logitech Combo Touch case too maybe?


Screen Shot 2021-10-12 at 9.39.49 AM.png
 

kp98077

macrumors 68020
Oct 26, 2010
2,143
979
I see them everyday now. Have to check several times online. Base model and 256+ cell. Good luck to you and your friend ❤️
 
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Realityck

macrumors 68020
Nov 9, 2015
2,334
3,324
Silicon Valley, CA
Dang - I searched a couple times yesterday and didn't see a 256 GB + cell model become available.

I wonder if I need to force-quit the iOS app to make it really trigger a new inventory check?

I just can't accept the idea of a 64 GB model. We both have ragged on how unusable 64 GB iPhones are...
I'd rather get him something completely different in the interim.
Just search for any color, 256GB, cellular, no engraving check local pick up for Austin Texas. I checked around a few times after they opened, then try again in a hour, and repeat, check mid afternoon. They do show up. As for 64GB, you don’t usually fill up a iPad mini storage, unless you just make all your GBs of images, or music, movies local to one device. Or go nuts downloading multiple games. Right now with my apps, files, and accessing online content, I’ve got 40+ GB free. You can always offload files to iCloud, or store then on UBC-C storage with that port now on the Mini. I guess I always used a MBP for storage, not the mini.
 
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