As iPad mini supply evens out, AU Optronics begins work on next-gen display

iPad mini (landscape, in hand, display)

Yesterday we noticed that iPad mini supply has finally caught up with demand. For the first time since the tablet launched last November, all models are showing ‘in stock’ in Apple’s online store, in several countries.

The improved stock is said to be due to AU Optronics solidifying higher yields of iPad mini panels. And not only has it figured out how to make the current-gen panels faster, but it’s begun work on next-gen displays…

DigiTimes reports:

“Due to AUO’s yield issues throughout the second half of 2012, cumulative shipments of the iPad mini were less than Apple’s originally estimated 10 million units. However, the sources said AUO has solidified higher yields as of the first quarter in 2013, which will help keep the iPad mini in supply as well as most likely push up AUO’s tablet panel shipments on year in 2013.”

AU Optronics has been Apple’s main panel supplier for the iPad mini from the get-go (LG Display also makes them). And it was largely blamed for the tablet’s initial supply shortage due to low yield rates of its displays.

But obviously, whatever the issue was has been fixed. And DigiTimes reports that AU Optronics (AUO) has just reached one million in panel shipments for the mini, and it’s begun working on displays for the next model.

“AUO currently provides AH-VA wide-angle panels for the iPad mini while LG Display, Apple’s other main panel maker for the device, provides IPS wide-angle panels. Meanwhile, AUO is reportedly also working on panels for Apple’s next-generation iPad mini.”

The next-gen iPad mini is widely expected to feature a Retina display. It’ll be tough to do, given the tablet’s size, and it’ll be the quickest Apple’s ever added a Retina display to a product line. But it sounds like it’s going to happen.

Recent reports allege that the new mini will make its debut in October, alongside a redesigned iPad 5. Not much else is known about the tablet, but according to iSuppli, its Retina display may add a few dollars to its price tag.