According to a report from Digitimes, Apple supplier AU Optronics has managed to improve its poor iPad mini display yields, finally leading to increased availability of the current iPad mini and a solid infrastructure for the production of displays for the next generation mini.
Due to AUO's yield issues throughout the second half of 2012, cumulative shipments of the iPad mini were less than Apple's originally estimated 10 million units. However, the sources said AUO has solidified higher yields as of the first quarter in 2013, which will help keep the iPad mini in supply as well as most likely push up AUO's tablet panel shipments on year in 2013.
The iPad mini has been in short supply since its release in October 2012, after some models sold out just minutes after pre-orders began. Reports cited display production as the limiting factor, which led to ship times of up to two weeks.
Just today, we reported that Apple managed to reach supply-demand balance on the iPad mini. The tablet is now listed as "in stock" for immediate shipment from several online Apple Stores, which confirms the display yield improvements.
Digitimes is also reporting that AU Optronics has begun production of displays for the second generation iPad mini. Rumors have suggested that the next iPad mini will be equipped with a Retina display, and a report from November stated that AU Optronics was gearing up for production.
Retina is widely believed to be the next logical step for the iPad mini, and while there are no concrete hints on when an updated mini will be released, KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted that both the iPad mini and the full sized iPad will be updated in the third quarter of 2013.