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Low Touchscreen Yields Reportedly Contributing to iPad Mini Pricing

Digitimes reports that one of the primary reasons that Apple was unable or unwilling to launch the iPad mini at a price below $329 is ongoing difficulties with touchscreen production as Apple transitions to new "GF2 Dito" technology.
The sources said the DITO film sensor is having mass production issues, which has been a big contributor to why the device is approximately 40-50% more expensive compared to other 7-inch tablets that have OGS or G/G structures.

The sources said that GF2 touch screen modules are only about roughly US$5 cheaper than G/G ones for the 9.7-inch iPad models.

Apple's transition to the new touch structure was mentioned by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo back in late August, with Kuo noting that hurdles experienced in that transition were one of the primary reasons that prevented Apple from launching iPad mini earlier than it did.

Today's report also notes that supply chain sources are continuing to see orders for the iPad 2 extending as far as the first quarter of next year, suggesting that Apple will indeed keep that model available for some time. One analyst had speculated last week that Apple might drop the iPad 2 in favor of the iPad mini in order to maintain a streamline product lineup, but at its media event this week the company was clear that the iPad 2 at $399 Wi-Fi/$529 cellular remains an integral part of its iPad portfolio even as the third-generation iPad has been discontinued.

Related roundups: iPad Air, iPad mini

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
The iPad Mini is looking more and more appealing. Damn you, Apple. Somehow, someway, I always say I'm not going to get it, then I get one. :mad:
Rating: 22 Votes
24 months ago
The "we like money" could also maybe possibly be a factor. And why shouldn't it?
Rating: 19 Votes
24 months ago
Apple needs to eat that cost. Why dropp new technology when you haven't perfected the manufacturing process yet?
Rating: 10 Votes
24 months ago
Ming-Chi Kuo nails it.
Rating: 8 Votes
24 months ago
I call BS on this argument. Phil Schiller eluded to "quality". That's an easy way to justify the money grab.
Rating: 8 Votes
24 months ago

I'd much rather bring the person I love out 11 times than own another useless piece of consumer electronics.

Well, almost anything is better than owning a useless piece of consumer electronics. The argument is about whether this piece of consumer electronics is useless. :)
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago

Low yields probably have more to do with switching to inferior supplier from Samsung than with new technology. Apple will lose a lot more than the $1 billion (that they will probably never get anyways) because of the way they treated Samsung.

And Samsung will lose a lot of money from the way they treated Apple. These aren't personal friendships, they're business decisions. Whether the moves both companies make are optimal, in the overall big picture, remains to be seen. And nobody can ever say for sure anyway, there are too many what-ifs going on. But both companies seem to be doing pretty well.
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
This sounds a lot like the normal pre-release propaganda. 1) it makes everyone think the Mini will be in short supply. (and be sure to set their alarm clocks and wait to lineup). and 2) give a weak excuse why the price is higher than expected.

The Mini is expected to get 58%-103% profit. If this was a temporary issue they could throw their customers a bone and eat bit which would still yeild them a very healthy profit. But nah, they'll just pass that along to you.

By the way, when they are able to get the screens at the price you expected, don't think for a minute they are going to easy off that $329 price. More profit baby!!!

(FWIW, I don't fault Apple a bit for doing it. I am just amazed at all the fans who fall all over themselves defending them for doing it.)
Rating: 4 Votes
24 months ago
How do the two technologies compare?
Rating: 4 Votes
24 months ago
Low yields probably have more to do with switching to inferior supplier from Samsung than with new technology. Apple will lose a lot more than the $1 billion (that they will probably never get anyways) because of the way they treated Samsung.
Rating: 4 Votes

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