2013 iPad mini 2 (Retina, three up, profile, front, back)

When Apple announced the new iPad mini with Retina display at its media event last week, the only launch date given was ‘November.’ The move seemingly confirmed previous chatter that the company has been having a hard time making the tablet.

And today, a new report out of Taiwan adds to the narrative, claiming that the mini’s initial supply constraint is directly related to its hi-res display. Apparently Sharp, who is responsible for 40% of the Retina mini panels, is seeing poor yield rates…

Here’s the report from DigiTimes:

“The availability of the iPad mini with Retina display may not be enough to meet market demand because Sharp’s supply of 7.9-inch Retina display panels based on its Oxide TFT process is seeing low yield rates, according to sources with Taiwan’s supply chain.

LG Display (LGD) is another supplier 7.9-inch Retina panels, the sources noted. LGD uses a-Si process and accounts for about 60% of the panels supplied for use in Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display, with Sharp accounting for 40%, the sources said.”

The report goes on to say that in addition to Sharp and LG Display, AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux also tried to win orders for second-generation iPad mini screens. But it sounds like Apple wasn’t convinced they could properly mass-produce the panels.

During the company’s quarterly earnings call earlier this week, Tim Cook was asked if Apple though it would have enough Retina iPad minis to meet demand this quarter. And his response was: “It’s unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not.

So putting this all together, it looks like the iPad mini with Retina display is going to be extremely tough to find when it goes on sale later this month. When will that be exactly? Well Apple hasn’t said yet, but we imagine it’ll arrive just in time for Black Friday.

Conversely, the larger iPad Air is expected to be widely available when it launches this Friday.

  • Frank Anthony

    I’m not so surprise as many people wants that little mini thang while the mini thang is not many (: But seriously Apple should stop their long usual drama and produce more damn iPad mini with Retina. Gee 🙁

    • Rowan09

      It’s always better to meet the demand than to produce more than needed and lose.

    • Pitchy

      I went from an iPad 2 to a Galaxy Note 10.1 to a Nexus 7 (2013) and absolutely love the hell out of the 7. I would much rather have a smaller tablet than a larger one now. If I want a larger screen, I am going for a laptop with more flexibility at the same price point.

  • appleyay

    yeah apple is doing that to try and move the bigger ipad more ..

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Question, when ever again will there be an Apple launch without supply shortages. Answer, NEVER.

    • Pitchy

      A better question is: is there truly a shortage or is this just a ploy to get everyone to buy it at launch so they can then later talk about how many they sold at launch?

  • That sucks. When will the pre-orders be or will they skip on that like they did the 5s?

  • Pitchy

    This is Apple’s marketing at work. Build up the buzz, then before launch tell everyone that it will be in short supply and then watch the lines queue up for people hoping to grab one before the run out and have to wait for the next magical shipment. This happens with every launch now.

    • appleyay

      its fun!!!!!!!

    • Stargazer715

      Bah! That sucks! So, what is the best way to score an ipad mini retina? Wait for the midnight hour and order online? I doubt my little town in remote BC will carry them on opening day…

  • Christopher

    I’m ready for this. I need all my devices retina displayed lol