Retina iPad mini production bottlenecks easing

IPad mini 2 (Retina, iFixit teardown 002)

It looks like Apple’s suppliers and manufacturers in Taiwan in China are finally catching up with demand. First we learned that Foxconn is finally ramping up iPhone 5s production, with handset ship times being lowered earlier this week to three to five days for online orders.

And now, despite the initial rumors of shortages concerning the new iPad mini with Retina display it would appear that production bottlenecks are easing quickly, with the Cupertino company reportedly having ordered a total of nearly four million Retina iPad minis in the month of November…

DigiTimes is reporting that Apple’s Taiwan-based supply chain makers are now able to build more Retina iPad minis compared to the first-generation, non-Retina models.

Shortages of Retina displays were the main reason causing the iPad mini to suffer from tight supply since manufacturing a 7-inch Retina display is more difficult than a 9.7-inch one, the sources explained.

Because of the issue, the iPad mini with Retina did not become available in retail channels until mid-November.

The Taiwanese trade publication added that the iPad Air is seeing much more stable supply than usual, mainly because Apple’s suppliers have had a longer preparation time.

DigiTimes’s post suggests that either Sharp has been able to finally solve yield issues with its IGZO-based 7.9-inch Retina panels for the device, or perhaps that Apple is now sourcing Retina iPad mini screens from its arch-enemy Samsung.

Korea’s ETNews recently claimed Apple was mulling expanding transactions with Samsung as Sharp struggled to solve burn-in issues with IGZO panels due to the malfunctioning of its thin-film transistor (TFT) process.

Apple is now allowing walk-in sales for the device, with both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models having recently started trickling into the company’s retail outlets in the United States and around the world.

As Apple’s Personal Pickup feature is no longer a requirement, the iPad mini with Retina display started hitting regional U.S. carriers such as U.S. Cellular, Bluegrass Cellular and C-Spire Wireless.

Image top of post via iFixit.