'iPad Mini' Launch Supplies Reportedly Challenged by Component Yield Issues

In the lead-up to major Apple product launches, there are almost inevitably reports of production problems that result in the company having lower stocks on hand than it initially hoped for, sometimes leading to extended shortages as the company's supply chain works to catch up to demand. The iPhone 5 was no different, with yield issues on the new in-cell displays used in the device reportedly being the bottleneck that has limited availability.

With The Wall Street Journal now reporting that mass production of the "iPad mini" has begun, reports are once again suggesting that Apple's launch supplies may be on the low side due to issues with several components.

One such report comes from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, who is currently in Taiwan meeting with a number of contacts in the component supply chains for Apple and other companies. White's contacts believe that yield issues with several iPad mini components have been "frustrating", with supplies of the device likely to be constrained for the first month of availability heading into the holiday shopping season.

Similar to the iPhone 5, we sensed that suppliers have found the specs around Apple's (AAPL-$671.45: Buy) 7.85-inch "iPad Mini" to be a challenge and yields have been frustrating. In our view, this is the reason the "iPad Mini" is 4-6 weeks behind our original launch expectation that we discussed in June. Despite continued yield challenges, the supply chain feels the much anticipated iPad Mini is on track to reach acceptable volume levels for a launch over the next month. That said, we believe that supply constraints will initially hold back the full sales potential during the first month or so of the launch.

White believes that Apple may sell 5-7 million iPad minis through the end of the quarter, somewhat below more optimistic estimates from other analysts that have put the number closer to 10 million. As with the iPhone 5, product availability for the iPad mini may actually be the limiting factor for early sales, making it difficult to assess true consumer demand.


Claimed black iPad mini rear shell

A pair of reports from Digitimes tell a similar story, with one article claiming that AU Optronics' production of the iPad mini display panels has been below expectations with just 400,000 panels shipped in the third quarter compared to a goal of two million for the manufacturer.

Apple is expected to ship 9-10 million units of the new tablet in the fourth quarter, but it remains to be seen whether AUO and LG Display - the other panel supplier for iPad Mini - can meet the target, the sources said.

A goal of five million panels for iPad Mini was set for the third quarter but later had to drop to one million due to low yield rates, with LG Display and AUO comprising 60% and AUO 40%, the sources said.

The second report from Digitimes indicates that chassis makers are also struggling with yield issues.

Along with the latest market rumors indicating that Apple is likely to unveil the much speculated iPad mini on October 17, sources in Apple's supply chain in Taiwan are also indicating that shipments of the iPad mini tablets are not smooth at the moment due to low yield rates at chassis makers.

Case makers Foxconn Electronics, Catcher Technology and Ri-Teng Computer Accessory are responsible for production of the iPad mini chassis, the sources indicated. Ri-Teng is an associate company of Pegatron.

The report claims that the iPad mini will be available in two body colors, native aluminum and black-anodized aluminum as seen with the iPhone 5, with the black version experiencing greater production issues due to the scratching vulnerability of the anodized chassis.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 5
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
105 months ago

I hope they don't release a new new ipad. I just but a new ipad. I will shoot my self if they do.


You do realize that your new iPad will not cease to function, or get slower, when a newer iPad is released, right?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
105 months ago
Would of been happy if it was iMac production issues.... at least we would of known they are round the corner :D
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
105 months ago
Dear Mr. Cook,

Could you please leak a few details about the Mac Pro and iMac to assure us that WE computer users know that you haven't forgotten us?

And, does Apple even have a department related to these computers or has everyone at Apple been moved over to the iPad and iPhone departments?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
105 months ago
When AREN'T there issues in the production process these days?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
105 months ago

I hope they don't release a new new ipad. I just but a new ipad. I will shoot my self if they do.


Hope you have your gun ready then.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
105 months ago

I see no point for this product

but I dont carry a purse, or read 50 shades of Aluminum

:confused:


I see no point in your post.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

HomePod Mini Cable is Non-Detachable, Ends With USB-C Connector for Use With Included 20W Power Adapter

Friday October 16, 2020 12:45 pm PDT by
While not detailed in the tech specs, MacRumors can confirm that Apple's new HomePod mini features a non-detachable power cable that ends with a USB-C connector for use with the 20W power adapter included in the box. With the switch to USB-C, the HomePod mini could potentially be powered by a wider range of devices and peripherals, ranging from MacBooks to USB-C battery packs with enough...

Samsung Mocks Apple for Ditching Power Adapters With iPhone 12 Lineup

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Samsung on its social channels is mocking Apple for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 lineup and other iPhone models, pointing out the fact that the Samsung Galaxy smartphones continue to ship with a power adapter. "Included with your Galaxy," reads a Samsung Facebook post that features a picture of a power adapter. Apple notably is no longer providing power adapters or...

New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

Saturday October 17, 2020 4:05 am PDT by
Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that's stuck in your head, and then use the company's machine learning algorithm to try and identify it. In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you're done, the...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...

iPhone 12 Pro Pre-Orders Already Selling Out With Delivery Times Pushing Into November

Friday October 16, 2020 6:35 am PDT by
Apple today opened pre-orders for the 6.1-inch models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro through its website and the Apple Store app, and estimated delivery times are already slipping into November for select configurations in the United States. Customers ordering a SIM-free/Pacific Blue/128GB version of the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, are already facing an estimated delivery window of...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Apple Offering Free AirPods With iPhone 11 Purchase in India as Part of Diwali Celebration

Friday October 16, 2020 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple today launched a new Diwali promotion in India that will see the company providing customers with a set of AirPods with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model. The new iPhone 12 models are not part of the promotion. Apple is offering the standard AirPods With Charging Case free with purchase, but customers can choose to upgrade to the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or the AirPods Pro....