Is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) boosting production of its iPad Mini 2, also known as the iPad mini with Retina display? According to DigiTimes and its Taiwan-based sources, yes. The news outlet reports that there have been nearly 4 million orders placed in November, a figure that surpasses the first generation’s figures. The sources also said it was trickier to configure the 7-inch Retina display than the 9.7-inch display, causing a limited supply.
DigiTimes may be convinced, but others are not. ValueWalk says that DigiTimes has a less than reliable record, and MacRumors shares the skepticism. It cited a previous instance in which market research firm IHS iSuppli and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo pegged the number of shipments in the fourth quarter to be 2 million. The 4 million mark would be crossed in the first quarter of 2014, the analysts speculated.
The release of the iPad Mini 2 has been under strict control by Apple. CNET compiled a list of delayed shipment dates for the tablet. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) originally slated the release date for November 25, but that has been pushed back to at least December 3, with no information about when the iPad will be in stores.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is backordered, as well, by at least three weeks. An option for those who do not want to wait for AT&T or Verizon to obtain the iPad mini is to try the Apple Store directly, which may also have a limited supply.
Brian White, who works for the financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, told AllThingsD that the firm has been calling Apple stores to monitor availability. “Apple now appears better positioned to support customers for Black Friday next week; however, we believe supply still remains a wildcard,” White said to the publication.
In early November, Korean news cite ETNews reported that delays in distribution were caused by a burn-in problem on the mini’s LCD panel. Although the defect was not detectable by consumers, it did not meet Apple’s standards. When a screen has burn-in issues, shadows of an image will remain even after the image has been closed.
Apple and retailers like Verizon and AT&T want to capitalize on the holiday shopping season with the iPad, but production and distribution are not the only battle the companies face. DisplayMate tested the iPad mini with Retina display against the Kindle Fire HDX and new Google Nexus 7. While it called all of the tablets impressive, it was decidedly underwhelmed by the iPad mini 2 because the displays on the other two reportedly went above and beyond Apple’s technology.
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