October 10 has come and gone without an Apple invitation (Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt who called for it apologized), prompting watchers to wonder about a smaller and cheaper iPad Apple’s rumored to be close to launching under the iPad mini moniker.
According to a supply chain report today, Apple is facing quality control issues with the device’s display and chassis, suggesting that shipments are not smooth at the moment due to low yield rates. The report notes that the iPad mini will come in native and black-colored aluminum chassis said to be “more vulnerable to scratching”. That doesn’t sound good.
The manufacturing difficulties are being blamed on anodizing, a finish process where aluminum thrown into a pool of chemicals and then running an electrical current through the acid bath, which produces a skin-deep layer that can easily be peeled off. The anodized finish process on the black cases for the iPad mini is reportedly “more critical”, resulting in lower yield rates…(...) Read the rest of The iPad mini: are you ready for Scuffgate on a grand scale?