Initial Availability of iPad mini may be Limited due to Display Provider Issues
Analysts are claiming low yield rates from Apple’s display makers could put the iPad mini tablet in short supply ahead of the lucrative holiday shopping season. In particular one of Apple’s two suppliers for the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch display is having issues meeting planned yield rates, effectively leaving only one fully-functioning provider.
The Cupertino California company chose to order parts from LG and AU Optronics instead of going with Samsung, which was formerly Apple’s number one display supplier. LG shipped 300,000 panels in September with plans to ramp up production to one million in October, 2.5 million in November, and 3 million in December. AU Optronics however is seeing trouble with the 7.9-inch panels and only shipped 100,000 in September, ahead of a planned ramp up to 400,000 in October, 800,000 in November, and one million in December.
According to analyst Richard Shim of CNET
“we’re not starting to see the issues that [Apple] is having with Samsung. The problem is that AUO is a new supplier, and they’re not able to get to the volumes that Apple needs. So, essentially, there’s just one supplier. The analyst pointed out that Apple’s relatively low price of entry is “expected to appeal to a wider audience and drive up demand. However panel supply chain indications point to an even more typical tightness in the market for the iPad mini.” Apple usually counts on multiple major suppliers to provide displays for hot-selling products. An example of this would be Samsung and LG taking orders for the third-generation iPad.
We’ll have to wait and see if Apple will be able to pump out enough units for a successful launch, but if the demand for the iPad mini is as strong as it was for the iPhone 5, the initial stock is likely to go quickly.