Despite the device's initial pre-order inventory selling out in just 23 minutes, Apple is expected to sell nearly 1.5 million units during the weekend. While it's a respectable figure, it doesn't represent the commercial breadth showcased by its predecessors.
According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, between one and 1.5 million iPad Mini units are expected to be sold this weekend, with the device launching across several regions today.
Comparatively, the third-generation iPad experienced over three million units in its first three days of sale. The iPhone 5, meanwhile, sold more than 5 million units during its opening weekend.
"We believe that over time that will change, and consumers will gradually realize the benefits of the smaller form factor iPad, which will drive adoption," Munster said, "although it may not take form in lines for tomorrow's launch."
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is also another reason why the iPad Mini is likely to be an underachiever for Apple, at least for now. The storm caused billions of dollars in damages to the East Coast and subsequently left Apple stores closed due to loss of power and flood damage.