Is Apple’s Retina iPad Mini Launch on Hold?


Has the long-awaited release of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) second-generation iPad Mini 2 with Retina display been delayed? According to market research firm IHS iSuppli’s sources, via CNET, Apple has not produced enough iPad mini 2 units for a rumored October release date.

“The Retina Mini looks less certain for that time. Manufacturing volumes on that would match better with a Q114 [first-quarter 2014] launch,” IHS iSuppli’s Rhoda Alexander told CNET.

On the other hand, although IHS iSuppli believes that Apple has not produced enough units for an October release, Alexander noted that Apple may still announce the iPad Mini 2 when it releases the iPad 5. According to IHS iSuppli, Apple will still unveil the fifth-generation iPad sometime in October.

IHS iSuppli’s 2014 launch date prediction for the iPad Mini 2 contradicts renowned KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction that Apple will launch the second-generation iPad Mini sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. However, Kuo also believes that Apple was forced to accelerate its original launch schedule for the Retina iPad Mini 2 after several competitors released their own high-definition small tablets.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) released the Asus-built Nexus 7 tablet with a high-definition display in July, while LG recently announced the G Pad 8.3 with a similarly high-display resolution. Apple’s suddenly accelerated launch schedule might account for the low supply of iPad mini 2 units noted by IHS iSuppli. Kuo also predicted that the iPad mini 2 will be powered by the A7 processor — the same chip found in the iPhone 5S.

France’s MacGeneration website recently reported a rumor that Apple will host a “new special event around October 15.” Many industry watchers anticipate that Apple will refresh its iPad product line at that event.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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