Low touch screen yields blamed for the iPad mini’s price tag

With so many people seemingly disappointed that the iPad mini starts at $329 rather than $249 or even $199, we polled you ahead of the announcement on the price and only seven percent thought only Apple could get away with pricing the device at $329. And yesterday, in another poll more than forty percent said they would be getting one (more than half would opt for the entry-level WiFi-only model).

No question some people will go for a Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire because not everyone can afford a $300+ tablet. But why exactly Apple didn’t make a sub-$300 iPad? According to supply chain sources, low yields for touch screens are to blame…

Per DigiTimes:

The $329 price tag for Apple’s iPad mini is largely due to low yield rates for the device’s GF2 (DITO film) touch screen technology, according to industry sources.

The sources said the DITO film sensor is having mass production issues, which has been a big contributor to why the device is approximately 40-50 percent more expensive compared to other seven-inch tablets that have OGS or G/G structures.

The report goes on to note that GF2 touch screen modules are only five bucks cheaper than ones for the 9.7-inch iPad.

It’s also interesting that iPad 2 orders “have a visibility until as late as the first quarter of 2013”, reportedly because the device is maintaining steady sales.

We’ll see about that when pre-orders for the iPad mini start at midnight tonight.