iPad mini Wi-Fi shipments delayed two weeks

If you want a Wi-Fi version of the iPad mini, you’ll need to wait two weeks. That’s the word this morning as both the black and white iPad mini report a two-week delay for Apple Store customers. The white model quickly went on the waiting list soon after Apple began accepting pre-orders Friday. The Wi-Fi versions of the iPad mini were set to ship Friday, November 2 with the LTE model expected in late November…

Beyond incredible demand, no reason for the delays are readily available. It’s unknown how much Hurricane Sandy, which threatens East Coast travel may be a factor. A more credible reason for the two-week shipping delay: insufficient supplies to meet demand.

As Apple announced the $7.9-inch tablet last Tuesday, analysts quickly predicted supplies could be a major issue. Meanwhile, Amazon, which started shipping an 8.9-inch version of its Kindle Fire HD tablet for $199, panned the iPad mini’s price on its homepage.

However, more on Apple’s mind is the increased cost to produce the iPad mini. At the company’s earnings call last week, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said the iPad mini’s gross margin is “significantly below the corporate average”. That lower-than-expected gross margin likely flowed from the costlier production.

Oppenheimer told analysts he will work to reduce “the cost curve” and make manufacturing more efficient. No word on whether those cost savings will be passed onto consumers, or is aimed simply at allaying investor concerns.

Are changes in the future for the iPad mini?

How can Apple reduce costs without affecting the outward design and engineering?