Will the iPad Mini 2 Hit By Summer’s End?

ipad miniThe latest rumors from Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) supply chain may indicate preparations for the production of the next generation of iPad mini. According to the Taiwan-based DigiTimes, Apple has already selected LG Display (NYSE:LPL) and Sharp as panel suppliers for Apple’s next iteration of the iPad mini, which is expected to debut in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Although DigiTimes has had a mixed record when it comes to the accuracy of its reports, this timeline does line up with Tim Cook’s assertion last month that Apple would be unveiling “exciting new product categories” through the fall and 2014. However, the news of the iPad mini 2 launch was actually a side note in the main story that focused on AU Optronics’ (NYSE:AUO) declining shipments of panels for the current iPad mini.

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AU Optronics is reportedly experiencing a decline in orders from Apple and is expected to see its second quarter iPad mini panel shipments drop to between 2.5 and 1.8 million from 4 million units in the first quarter of this year. Although Apple seems to be reducing its reliance on AU Optronics, the company still submitted new iPad mini sample panels to Apple for the Cupertino-based company’s approval.

Via DigiTimes, the anonymous supply chain sources report that, “AUO’s drop in the second quarter will also come as overall shipments for the iPad mini are expected to drop around 20-30 percent on quarter to around 10 million units largely due to the time period traditionally being a slow purchasing period for consumers. The remaining seven million panels for the device are expected to come from LG Display.”

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Here’s how Apple, AU Optronics, and LG Display have traded so far this week.


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Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)