APPLE FANS with an iPad Mini 2 on their Christmas wish list might be disappointed when the big day arrives, as analyst outfit IHS has revealed that the device will be in short supply this quarter.
This doesn't come as a surprise. Following the unveiling of the iPad Mini 2 with Retina display, Apple kept quiet about its availability, instead telling potential buyers that it will be available "later in November".
IHS display research has since revealed that this is because of a shortage of 7.9in Retina display panels, with Apple struggling to produce as many tablets as it wants.
Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet research at IHS said, "Apple is being rather vague about the exact availability date of the new iPad mini with Retina Display, simply stating that the product would ship later in November.
"The company has good reason to be coy about the exact release date, given that supply of the new [iPad Mini 2] is going to be ridiculously tight in the fourth quarter. The heart of the problem is supply constraints on the new Retina panel."
This is very bad news for Apple. Last year, the firm shifted 8.9 million iPad Mini tablets in the three month runup to Christmas, and IHS has claimed that shipments of its present model could fall to just three million. This means that the firm is likely to meet only a third of the demand for its latest model in the runup to Christmas this year.
Alexander added that it could have made more sense to introduce the iPad Mini 2 in a few months, to build up hype around its iPad Air tablet, "With supply of the new Retina [Ipad Mini 2] estimated to come in at one-third or less of Apple's [iPad Mini] unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012, it's curious that Apple elected to include the product at the same time as the iPad Air.
"The iPad Air is an impressive product in its own right. Faster, lighter, and substantially thinner than earlier generations, the iPad Air provides a long awaited design refresh of the 9.7in iPad. Apple could have split the product launches, as they did in 2012, and introduced the [iPad Mini 2] in the first quarter of 2014." µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ