Supplier issues could lead to limited availability of initial iPad mini stock

Folks interested in purchasing Apple’s new iPad mini may want to make sure and order one as soon as possible when pre-orders go live this Friday. Word is, one of Apple’s suppliers for the tablet is having problems meeting its yield rates, and this could lead to a shortage of iPad mini stock…

CNET reports:

“We’re now starting to see the issues that [Apple] is having with Samsung,” Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, told CNET in an interview.

Specifically, Samsung, a traditional Apple display vendor, is not supplying displays for the iPad mini, according to Shim. That leaves two suppliers, LGD and AUO.”

And it looks like there’s a problem with AUO (or AU Optronics). Shim says that since it’s a new supplier, it’s having trouble getting to the volumes Apple needs. So this basically leaves one manufacturer, LG Display, that is actually meeting its output goal for iPad mini displays. The analyst notes:

“AUO is having yield issues with the 7.9″ panel…AUO shipped just over 100,000 units. The production plan is reach 400,000 units in October, 800,000 units November and 1 million in December.”

LG Display, on the other hand, is looking to hit 1 million units in October and 3 million in December. So you can see the difference here. And as Shim points out above, you can really see the effect that the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung is having on the Cupertino company’s supply chain.

Earlier this week, a report surfaced claiming that Samsung was going to stop selling its display panels to Apple due to the company’s stricter supply chain management affecting its profits. A spokesperson for the Korean handset-maker refuted the story, but there was definitely something off about the whole thing.

Apple introduced the 7.85-inch iPad mini to the world yesterday during a high-profile media event. The tablet has a dual-core A5 processor, HD front and back cameras and starts at, what some people believe to be a high price of, $329. Pre-orders start this Friday, and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.