Apple’s new iPad Mini went on sale around parts of the world Friday.

Prices start at $329.

The company is offering free shipping for orders placed online.

One analyst calls the device Apple’s “next star.”

In an email, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) touted the Mini:

“Buy iPad mini from the Apple Online Store and have it shipped free to your door. Or buy the Wi-Fi model at your favorite Apple Retail Store and we’ll set it up just the way you like.”

Apple operates two retail stores in the Triangle.

Sales were brisk even in storm-ravaged New York city.

New Yorkers looking to buy the Mini had fewer stores to shop in Friday, after Hurricane Sandy induced power blackouts, hobbled transportation and left some retail outlets shuttered.

Supplies of the iPad mini are sold out at Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store, with white and silver models gone within 30 minutes, said Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets. Almost 600 people lined up outside the store, according to Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, and other retailers are grappling with transportation and supply complications as the New York metropolitan area begins the recovery from Sandy, which made landfall on Oct. 29. Two of Apple’s five stores in the city are closed today due to the storm, as are some in New Jersey. Lines at the open locations suggest the weather won’t hamper sales, White said.

“The iPad mini is off to a strong start and we believe this will be the next star in the Apple portfolio,” White said.

Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment.

Apple may sell 1 million to 1.5 million iPad minis in the launch weekend, Munster said in a research note.

The iPad mini models with Wi-Fi went on sale today in the U.S., priced from $329 to $529 based on the amount of memory. Apple typically announces opening weekend sales figures on the Monday after the debut.

(Bloomberg contributed to this report.)