Officially announced by Apple yesterday, the iPad Mini isn’t as cheap as many have expected it to be – prices will start at $329 (16GB Wi-Fi-only version). And yet it’s bound to become one of the fastest-selling tablets ever.
However, market researcher DisplaySearch notes that iPad Mini shipments will be plagued by supply constrains initially. According to the company, Apple will likely not be able to secure enough display panels for the new tablet.
Reportedly, LG Display and Taiwan’s AU Optronics are supplying 7.9 inch panels for the iPad Mini. AUO shipped only 100,000 units in September, and expects to ship 400,000 units this month, 800,000 in November, and 1 million in December. LG Display shipped 300,000 panels in September, and should ship 1 million this month, 2.5 million next month, and 3 million in December. If these numbers provided by DisplaySearch are accurate, Apple will have about 1.8 million iPad Minis ready for sale in early November – when the tablet hits the market in 34 countries around the world.
If demand is higher than 1.8 million units at launch, then, yes, there will be shortages. But it remains to be seen how many customers are ready to buy themselves a 7.9 inch iPad for $330. We’ll let you know how things go.