iPad mini promo (Smart Cover, launching Safari)

Days after reports suggesting shorter delays for Apple’s iPad mini comes rumors the company could ship about 11 million of the 7.9-inch tablets during the first quarter of 2013. The potential reason: an improved supply chain from China’s factories producing the device.

At last week’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said iPad mini shipments were constrained during the all-important holiday period. While in December there was a week delay shipping the tablet, the shipping wait had fallen to 3-5 days by mid-January. The shortened shipping time was likely the precursor of today’s rumor about first quarter demand…

Today’s report from the Chinese-language CCIDNet (via AppleInsider) dovetails with a Tuesday report by supply-chain news site DigiTimes.

According to the site, “industry sources” claim Apple has reduced “shipments for its 9.7-inch iPad products in the first quarter to as low as six million units, down from Apple’s originally estimated 12-15 million units.”

The perceived reason?

The “increasing popularity among consumers for the iPad mini”.

iPad mini (three-up, front, back, profile, white)

This report seems to bolster the earlier rumor that whatever supply issues were slowing iPad minis getting to customers has eased. Although almost certainly some observers will read only “reduced shipments” of iPad mini displays and hastily conclude slowing demand.

In fact,  reduced orders for LG’s displays most likely means a tighter and better-performing iPad mini supply chain. Also recall that LG is not the only supplier providing displays for the iPad mini.

The problem with unsourced news reports such as these is readers are unable to determine the reasons for the leaks. Is LG using DigiTimes to send Apple a message: ‘hey, the mini is popular, you need our contract’?

Is another display supplier calling attention to LG’s drop in orders, essentially saying the firm is no longer in Apple’s favor?

With NDA’s flying thick and heavy, we are not likely to get any answers. So, as we always advise: take these reports with a grain of salt.

  • The sooner they make an iPad mini with Retina display, the better.

  • Miguel Meza

    I orderd my daughter a iPad Mini a few days ago!

    • Johnathan Jennings

      That was dumb, iPad mini 2 will be out within 4 months

      • Or rumors claimed not until September/October. So you really don’t know. Plus it’s not dumb. I just got mine too and I’m going to sell it slightly ahead of the Retina launch and then just buy that. I’ll only have to invest, maybe, $50 then.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Trust me, it won’t be in sept or oct. at latest June. Promise.

      • And do you work for Apple?

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Yes, yes i do. does that consern you?

      • Hyr3m

        I’m concerned by Apple if they recruit people with such bad spelling… Oh you must be one of those useless geniuses … aren’t you ?

      • My cousin who knows a guy that knows a friend that dated Tim cook says otherwise

      • Johnathan Jennings

        My ass

      • Only an idiot plays their life based on rumors. For a kid an iPad mini is good any time. Better than a Nintendo 3DS and games are just a few bucks. Not to mention all the other learning apps and things one can do

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Liste dumb ass. That’s not rumors. That’s what I know.

      • 4 months is pretty long..

  • Curtis

    umm soo about that jailbreak, like sometime before it releases can you guys make a post of all those nice tweaks that have been releasing.

  • Soon the new ipad will be the same design as the mini just larger screen and that one will be sweet, slim, smaller yet, same screen and of course faster.

    • Hyr3m

      wishful thinking ^^;;

  • m_agee2790

    People are actually buying the iPad Mini?

  • Hyr3m

    Which goes on to prove that Steve Jobs had his retarted moments just like everyone else on earth.