Another report claims Retina iPad mini inventory will be limited at launch

iPad mini 2 in Apple Store (Martin Hajek 002)

With Apple’s tablet event just a few days away, speculation continues to mount on what we may see unveiled on stage. A redesigned iPad 5 seems like a given, but there are still some unknowns regarding the new iPad mini.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind is if the 7.9-inch slate will get the Retina treatment this time around. According to Peter Misek, the answer is yes. The analyst fully expects Apple to introduce a hi-res mini next week…

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it sounds like folks are going to have a hard time getting their hands on one at launch. In a note to investors yesterday afternoon, Misek said he fears initial supplies will be constrained.

Barron’s has the note:

We expect a Retina Display iPad mini to be introduced at $329. Yields for Retina film based display for mini remain terrible, which is why there was speculation (i.e., Reuters) that the launch could be pushed out to CQ1. We think initial launch supplies could be constrained to as few units as 2-5M.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this narrative. In a recent report, Reuters claimed that supply chain sources told them the Retina iPad mini will not be available for a ‘wide rollout’ this month. And IHS iSuppi is hearing similar chatter.

Here’s more from Misek:

We expect: 1) MacBook Pro line will see an upgrade to Haswell chips, drastically improving the battery life. 2) Release dates for OS X Mavericks and Mac Pro. 3) A possible Apple TV SDK, which would allow programs to be written for it and be a stepping stone to an eventual iTV.”

Nothing too crazy here. The MacBook Pro has been long overdue for a Haswell update, Mavericks is already in Golden Master, and we knew the Mac Pro was coming this fall. The Apple TV SDK thing is a bit of a wild card though.

But the focus of the event is expected to be the iPad. The larger model is supposed to get a redesigned shell, and both are said to be getting A7 processors and 8MP rear cameras. The event kicks off next Tuesday at 10am PST/1pm EST.