Rumor: 'iPad mini' manufacture to hit 4M units per month in September ahead of October launch

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Although details on Apple much-rumored smaller iPad are scarce, fresh rumors say supply volume of the device are estimated to reach four million units per month beginning in September, giving the company enough time to prepare for the lucrative holiday season.

According to inside sources from the sometimes-reliable DigiTimes, Apple's suppliers are gearing up for a manufacturing blitz expected to start in September which will ramp-up production to four million units per month.

The same sources say the tablet will launch in October with a screen resolution similar to that of the iPad 2.

Insiders have also reported that the supply chain has been producing small batches of the smaller iPad since June, with a monthly unit yield in the hundreds of thousands. It was reported in July that Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn was taking on "summer hires" in preparation of large orders for the tablet.

Speculation abounds as to what the device might look like, and mockups based on supposed parts leaks show the tablet could be as thin as the current iPod touch and may take on the small multimedia player's look with a thinner bezel in portrait orientation.

iPad mini Mockup
Mockup of alleged "iPad mini." | Source: iMore


The rumors are in line with previous analyst estimates that point to a debut sometime after the anticipated next-generation iPhone launches this fall. Apple is widely expected to unveil the handset at an as-yet-unannounced special event on Sept. 12.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38


    DigiTimes..... STOP THE PRESSES!

  • Reply 2 of 38


    Microsoft might as well kiss the Surface goodbye, if Apple will be flogging the mini iPad at like $200 ish per unit... MS is phucked 


     


    edit---


     


    They can burry it in the ground "Next of Kin"

  • Reply 3 of 38
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,712member
    I doubt the price would be $200ish per unit. I would expect $299' with a long outside chance of $249 for the base model.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    Priced identically to the Touch and now, we're told, plans to produce 4M units a month. This just gets curiouser and curiouser.

    Obviously I have no inside info but it just doesn't add up. The rumours are making less and less sense, raising doubts about the very existence of the iPad Mini.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member


    $299 and $399, replacing the iPad 2 in the lineup.

  • Reply 6 of 38
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,240member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Entropys View Post



    I doubt the price would be $200ish per unit. I would expect $299' with a long outside chance of $249 for the base model.


     


    Agreed. US$299 will bridge the gap between the new "taller" iPod touch ~US$200 and the ipad 2 ~US$450


     


     


    It was never going to be $200. Apples goal is not to undercut or price match the competition, but market a superior product within upsell range. That way competitors either have to 


     


    The benefits of thinner formfactor, slightly larger display and the elegance of iOS 6 versus fustercluck android will more than justify the difference.
  • Reply 7 of 38

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    $299 and $399, replacing the iPad 2 in the lineup.



     


    I'm betting on it starting at $199 and the iPod Touch is toast. No sense upgrading the Touch to the new 18-pin connector.

  • Reply 8 of 38
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    I have no idea how they would price this Mini if it exists, but I think they would sell tons of them if it starts at $299 or lower and looks like the mock-up...
  • Reply 9 of 38
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    I have no idea how they would price this Mini if it exists, but I think they would sell tons of them if it starts at $299 or lower and looks like the mock-up...

    Agreed. Who can look at that mockup and think that's not a good idea?

    $200- ill take 2. $299- ill take 1. $249- ill be confused. :-)

    I also wouldn't be shocked to see something like a $229 or $269 tag.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,803member
    The thing that is foolish is speculating on what it will look like. It is fairly obvious it will look like a tablet, details aren't of importance, the trick is that it supports iOS and runs apps with a minimal of fuss.

    As to the ramp up to four million a month that won't be nearly enough. It is very likely it will sell as good or better than the current iPad. It might not be my personal desire but such a tablet would be a big win at work. In fact I can see it becoming a go to solution for many business needs.
  • Reply 11 of 38


    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

    The thing that is foolish is speculating on what it will look like. It is fairly obvious it will look like a tablet, details aren't of importance…


     


    The details determine whether the thing is usable.

  • Reply 12 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,803member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    I have no idea how they would price this Mini if it exists, but I think they would sell tons of them if it starts at $299 or lower and looks like the mock-up...

    Pricing will be extremely interesting, I strongly suspect Apple will exploit lower cost manufacturing methods including a polymer shell. Or possibly an injection molded shell of some alloy. The big problem with a device this size is that you need transparent material for all the radio waves the device is likely to use.

    Speaking of which it does make you wonder if this will be a WiFi only device to again control costs and minimize inventory issues. I could see them doing this but at the same time it would take many potential customers out of the picture. A key feature of my iPad 3 is that cellular access, without which I don't see the unit being as useful.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,803member
    The details determine whether the thing is usable.

    It is a tablet, that implies a flat piece of glass in a thin enclosure. Everybody seems to expect massive changes from that formula but really would it be a tablet if that happened?

    There are rumors floating around that Apple is working on an iOS based camera. I have to say good for them, but even if it is iOS based it will no longer be a tablet! A different use requires a different formula thus if Apple is to market a Mini iPad it will follow the formula for a tablet.
  • Reply 14 of 38


    The pictured form factor with the narrow bevel on the sides… at first that didn't make sense to me, thinking we need more space for our thumbs… on the 10" iPad, this is true. But on a smaller, MUCH lighter model, we might actually hold it more often using only the bottom bezel rather than the side, and if held at the side it would need less "grip" from a full thumb contact...


     


    So, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes...

  • Reply 15 of 38
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Entropys View Post



    I doubt the price would be $200ish per unit. I would expect $299' with a long outside chance of $249 for the base model.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


     


    Agreed. US$299 will bridge the gap between the new "taller" iPod touch ~US$200 and the ipad 2 ~US$450


     


     


    It was never going to be $200. Apples goal is not to undercut or price match the competition, but market a superior product within upsell range. That way competitors either have to 


     


    The benefits of thinner formfactor, slightly larger display and the elegance of iOS 6 versus fustercluck android will more than justify the difference.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


     


    I'm betting on it starting at $199 and the iPod Touch is toast. No sense upgrading the Touch to the new 18-pin connector.



    $199 would be a stretch is this is an iPad. If this were a big iPod than $199 would be the perfect price.


     


    Anyway when/if an iPad Mini does come out I wonder if Apple will just keep the current Touch around, not upgrade it, and price it at $99? That could help drive up iPod sales? Even if the Touch does get upgraded the pricing would have to stay lower to make room for this new  iPad.

  • Reply 16 of 38
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    blackbook wrote: »

    $199 would be a stretch is this is an iPad. If this were a big iPod than $199 would be the perfect price.

    Anyway when/if an iPad Mini does come out I wonder if Apple will just keep the current Touch around, not upgrade it, and price it at $99? That could help drive up iPod sales? Even if the Touch does get upgraded the pricing would have to stay lower to make room for this new  iPad.

    I think they would keep the Touch available, even if the price overlap with an iPad Mini makes it look like a bad value to many. I work in a middle school, and for the kids who do not have a smartphone, it is an excellent form factor. Big enough for games but small enough for a pocket. If sales tank completely, of course, they could always let it go, but I believe it would still serve a purpose...
  • Reply 17 of 38

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post





    I think they would keep the Touch available, even if the price overlap with an iPad Mini makes it look like a bad value to many. I work in a middle school, and for the kids who do not have a smartphone, it is an excellent form factor. Big enough for games but small enough for a pocket. If sales tank completely, of course, they could always let it go, but I believe it would still serve a purpose...




    I think you nailed the Touch vs Mini issue.  Isn't this about form factor and not price?  I have an iPhone and Kindle Fire.  The iPhone is with me all the time.  The fire is used when I want to read.  The Touch has it's own niche and I hope they keep it around for that niche.  For myself, I can't wait to get rid of the Fire and replace it with a Mini.

  • Reply 18 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    How sweet would it be if this shipped before Windows RT tablets? :lol:
  • Reply 19 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    The thing that is foolish is speculating on what it will look like. It is fairly obvious it will look like a tablet, details aren't of importance, the trick is that it supports iOS and runs apps with a minimal of fuss.
    As to the ramp up to four million a month that won't be nearly enough. It is very likely it will sell as good or better than the current iPad. It might not be my personal desire but such a tablet would be a big win at work. In fact I can see it becoming a go to solution for many business needs.
    If they could find a way to sell it with retina display for $299 and $399 I'd say game over for Nexus and Windows RT. if it doesn't have retina display it will need something else to lure people away from the $199 price point. Is iOS enough to do that?
  • Reply 20 of 38
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    entropys wrote: »
    I doubt the price would be $200ish per unit. I would expect $299' with a long outside chance of $249 for the base model.

    Yep. I don't see any less than $249 minimum and probably $299.
    I'm betting on it starting at $199 and the iPod Touch is toast. No sense upgrading the Touch to the new 18-pin connector.

    Not a chance. The iPod Touch is an important part of the lineup. I expect the iPod Touch to change to a slightly larger screen if the iPhone does, though.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    The thing that is foolish is speculating on what it will look like. It is fairly obvious it will look like a tablet, details aren't of importance, the trick is that it supports iOS and runs apps with a minimal of fuss.
    As to the ramp up to four million a month that won't be nearly enough. It is very likely it will sell as good or better than the current iPad. It might not be my personal desire but such a tablet would be a big win at work. In fact I can see it becoming a go to solution for many business needs.

    Details are extremely important. Where have you been for the past 10 years? Apple's success is largely due to sweating the details.

    An iPad Mini will take all of its design cues from the iPad 3. There's no way it would look significantly different. The message is clearly "all the iPad goodness in a smaller size".
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Pricing will be extremely interesting, I strongly suspect Apple will exploit lower cost manufacturing methods including a polymer shell. Or possibly an injection molded shell of some alloy. The big problem with a device this size is that you need transparent material for all the radio waves the device is likely to use.

    Cheap plastic? No way. They're not going to bastardize the iPad image. It will be constructed just like the iPad 3.
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