iPad Mini ‘Challenging’ to Build, Expect Low Supply at Launch

iPad MiniWith all the speculation about the rumored iPad mini launch taking place this fall, it is no wonder we are hearing about it more and more. As the predicted deadline draws near, analysts are speculating on how many units will sell, whether it will increase Apple’s stock price even more, and how long we will have to wait to get our hands on it. Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets recently told investors to expect a low supply for a high demand when the new iPad mini finally hits store shelves.

After meeting with suppliers in Taiwan, White told investors that production of parts for the smaller iPad has proved to be “frustrating.” His contacts said that supplies of the device are likely to be low leading up to the holiday season.

“Similar to the iPhone 5, we sensed that suppliers have found the specs around Apple’s (AAPL-$671.45: Buy) 7.85-inch “iPad Mini” to be a challenge and yields have been frustrating. In our view, this is the reason the “iPad Mini” is 4-6 weeks behind our original launch expectation that we discussed in June,” White told investors in a note. He believes the low volume of units will reflect poorly on sales numbers over the first month or so of launch.

Some investors have predicted 10 million units would be sold during the launch quarter, but White has estimated between five and seven million iPad minis due to the supply chain constraints.

Reports coming in from DigiTimes seem to collaborate White’s assertion that parts suppliers are struggling to meet deadlines. Apparently, AU Optronics reported shipping 400,000 panels for the iPad mini, “fewer than expected due to low yield rates.” The company plans to ship four million panels in the fourth quarter.

DigiTimes also reports that shipments of the iPad mini are “not smooth at the moment due to low yield rates at chassis makers.” The purported anodized aluminum finish process takes more time and results in lower yields.

Maybe those pictures from earlier this week are real after all.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik