Apple’s Tuesday unveiling of its iPad Mini stirred tech lust among the faithful. But many of them may have to wait a while to get their hands on the latest gadget from the Cupertino company, said NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim.
While some observers criticized Apple’s $329 iPad Mini base price as too high, Shim believes it’s low enough to trigger yet another buying stampede at Apple’s retail stores.
“As is typical (with Apple product launches), we expect the iPads to be supply constrained initially, especially the iPad Mini with its $329 price,” Shim wrote in a blog post. “The new low price point is expected to appeal to a wider audience and drive up demand. However, panel supply chain indications point to an even more than typical tightness in the market for the iPad Mini.”
Samsung has long been a major supplier for the iPad. But Apple now appears to be shifting to new partners in light of the patent wars the two companies are engaged in, he added.
“Apple is expanding its supplier base with new partners for the iPad Mini,” Shim wrote. “Apple will continue to work with LG Display who is supplying panels to Foxconn for the finished product, and is adding AUO, who will supply panels to Pegatron. However, AUO is having yield issues with the 7.9” panel which is limiting their supply to Pegatron, and in September, AUO shipped just over 100,000 units.
“The production plan is to reach 400,000 units in October, 800,000 units November and 1 million in December,” he said. “LG Display shipped 300,000 panels in September, and plans to ship 1 million in October, 2.5 million in November, and 3 million in December.”
Samsung and Apple, Shim added, “appear to be winding down their relationship most likely due to the legal conflicts the two have been embroiled in recently. In previous iPad launches, LG Display and Samsung have been the main panel suppliers with roughly equal panel production.”