DigiTimes is known for having insider knowledge from the supply chain regarding Apple devices. According to a new report from the tech blog, display panel maker AU Optronics (AUO) has reached one million panel shipments for the iPad mini after significant effort to increase yields.
Additionally, the supplier is ready to begin developing panel technology for the next generation of the smaller sized tablet.
Due to AUO’s yield issues throughout the second half of 2012, cumulative shipments of the iPad mini were less than Apple’s originally estimated 10 million units. However, the sources said AUO has solidified higher yields as of the first quarter in 2013, which will help keep the iPad mini in supply as well as most likely push up AUO’s tablet panel shipments on year in 2013.
Apple’s iPad mini has suffered supplier constraints since it launched in October 2012. Only yesterday the device was made available in stock at Apple’s online stores. Rumors abound that a second-generation iPad mini will come with Retina display support. However, analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray recently predicted that Apple will wait until later in the year to launch the new model of the 7.9-inch tablet, citing supply constraints.
If AUO, one of Apple’s biggest display panel suppliers, is on track for mass production of 7.9-inch panels, it is possible, although unlikely, that we will see a Retina display iPad mini this spring.