Reuters: Retina iPad mini may not launch in 2013 due to supply constraints

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Adding its voice to a gathering storm of "iPad mini 2" rumors, Reuters on Wednesday reported Apple's suppliers have only recently started ramping up production of the device's Retina displays, suggesting an anticipated rollout could be pushed back into 2014.

iPad mini 2
Purportedly leaked "iPad mini 2" shells.


Citing supply chain sources, Reuters claims Apple will face severe supply constraints if it chooses to debut the Retina display "iPad mini 2" this year, prompting speculation that the company may delay the tablet's launch until after the lucrative holiday shopping season.

The sources said Apple planned to reveal the second-generation mini later this month, but suppliers of the high-resolution Retina display panels bound for the device have been holding up production. Current Apple display suppliers LG Display, Samsung and Sharp reportedly vied for the contract, though the final order breakdown is unknown.

According to the publication, the production delay is due in part to Apple's requirement that display makers deliver panels which operate within strict power-saving parameters. One of the main concerns with using a power-hungry Retina display in a small form factor tablet is its toll on battery life, an area where the current iPad mini shines.

With the certification issues apparently solved, screen manufacturers are said to be ramping up production, but volumes are not expected to be large enough for a wide rollout until early next year. Sources suspect Apple may wait to launch the next-gen mini until supplies are adequate, or alternatively make the Retina version available in limited quantities later this year.

Finally, one person noted Apple is looking to debut a low-cost version of the 7.9-inch tablet, possibly cutting costs by lowering on-board storage to 8GB and sticking with existing internals.

Wednesday's report lines up perfectly with predictions from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in April noted mass production of a Retina iPad mini would likely be delayed until October. Kuo said Apple would face issues with Retina panel yields, which would force a December launch at the earliest. In July, the analyst also reported that Apple would introduce a less expensive iPad mini alongside a higher-spec Retina version with a more powerful A-series SoC, enhanced camera and other component upgrades.

It was previously rumored that the second-generation iPad mini would be unveiled alongside a redesigned 9.7-inch iPad later this month, though today's report casts doubt on the chances of a wide release.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    8GB low cost version? Not going to happen. The savings from cutting off 8GB of flash storage would be negligible, while seriously limiting the usability of the device. If anything, they'll just cut the price of the existing one accordingly and in return ramp up the price for the retina model slightly.
  • Reply 2 of 71

    Again the same BS as the iPhone and Appleinsider is going to publish it all over again?

     

    - supply constraints (stock drops),

    - leaks (stock drops),

    - lack of interest from the public (stock drops),

    - interest rises (stock drops),

    - release of the device (stock drops),

    - bad jokes, Apple is dead, some analyst lose hope on Apple  (stock drops),

    - Awesome sales proving all previous stuff was a made up lie  (stock goes up 2 dollars),

    - Analysts analyse lines and amount of time for things to go out of stock ( (stock drops),

    - Apple gives amazing numers (stock goes up 2%),

    - Analysts are proving wrong, but still attack Apple's numbers  (stock drops),

    - Nothing happens....  (stock drops).

    - Carl Icahn eats (Stock goes up).

     

    repeat.

  • Reply 3 of 71
    pinolopinolo Posts: 91member
    I plan to be in NYC over new year. Apple better give me some reason to go to the Apple store (besides the 5S of course).
  • Reply 4 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    How come other companies don't seem to have a problem making 7-8" tablets with retina like displays? According to AnandTech the new Nexus 7 gets 12 hours battery life. And Apple can produce 3.5", 4" and 9.7" retina displays but somehow 7.9" is impossible? Except it will magically become possible in 2014? Either Reuters is full of it or Apple has a real problem.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    g-news wrote: »
    8GB low cost version? Not going to happen. The savings from cutting off 8GB of flash storage would be negligible, while seriously limiting the usability of the device. If anything, they'll just cut the price of the existing one accordingly and in return ramp up the price for the retina model slightly.
    Yes this is th dumbest thing I've read. No way will Appe ship a tablet with only 8GB storage. They'd be laughed off the stage, especially considering it would probably sill be more expensive than competitor 16GB devices with retina like displays.
  • Reply 6 of 71
    jusephejusephe Posts: 108member
    rogifan wrote: »
    How come other companies don't seem to have a problem making 7-8" tablets with retina like displays? According to AnandTech the new Nexus 7 gets 12 hours battery life. And Apple can produce 3.5", 4" and 9.7" retina displays but somehow 7.9" is impossible? Except it will magically become possible in 2014? Either Reuters is full of it or Apple has a real problem.

    They need an advenced technology for retina iPad mini (iPad 4 is a lot bulkier old display tech and iPhone 4 and up is newer, but less than quarter size of iPad mini display) in huge volumes. Nexus can be made because google is selling literally a few hundreds of thousands, and Apple will sell tens of millions of mini's
  • Reply 7 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    jusephe wrote: »
    They need an advenced technology for retina iPad mini (iPad 4 is a lot bulkier old display tech and iPhone 4 and up is newer, but less than quarter size of iPad mini display) in huge volumes. Nexus can be made because google is selling literally a few hundreds of thousands, and Apple will sell tens of millions of mini's
    A few hundred thousand? Do you have a source for this? Also, we've seen leaks for 9.7" iPads with the mini form factor. If that's possible how is a 7.9" not possible?
  • Reply 8 of 71
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pinolo View Post



    I plan to be in NYC over new year. Apple better give me some reason to go to the Apple store (besides the 5S of course).

     

    Yeah, because Apple needs pinolo to go to the Apple Store over new year. Seriously, you did not get the memo titled "How to make pinolo happy during his NYC trip"?

     

    Apart from that, is reuters reporting on a rumor that would make another rumor less likely?

  • Reply 9 of 71
    If this is true, it shows huge problems for Apple. Supply constraints have been a problem for Apple (iMac) in the past. If Apple with it's locked up vendors and billions of $ cash cannot get a working supply chain to build its products it has a serious problem. Can't make the product, people will buy crap products instead. Apple is best, but it's not better than nothing.
  • Reply 10 of 71
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    $229 8GB model? Ok.........
  • Reply 11 of 71
    red oakred oak Posts: 680member
    Again the same BS as the iPhone and Appleinsider is going to publish it all over again?

    - supply constraints (stock drops),
    - leaks (stock drops),
    - lack of interest from the public (stock drops),
    - interest rises (stock drops),
    - release of the device (stock drops),
    - bad jokes, Apple is dead, some analyst lose hope on Apple  (stock drops),
    - Awesome sales proving all previous stuff was a made up lie  (stock goes up 2 dollars),
    - Analysts analyse lines and amount of time for things to go out of stock ( (stock drops),
    - Apple gives amazing numers (stock goes up 2%),
    - Analysts are proving wrong, but still attack Apple's numbers  (stock drops),
    - Nothing happens....  (stock drops).
    - Carl Icahn eats (Stock goes up).

    repeat.

    Well said

    Let's hope Apple is buying back boatloads of its stock to take advantage of this massive discount
  • Reply 12 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G-News View Post



    8GB low cost version? Not going to happen. The savings from cutting off 8GB of flash storage would be negligible, while seriously limiting the usability of the device. If anything, they'll just cut the price of the existing one accordingly and in return ramp up the price for the retina model slightly.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Yes this is th dumbest thing I've read. No way will Appe ship a tablet with only 8GB storage. They'd be laughed off the stage, especially considering it would probably sill be more expensive than competitor 16GB devices with retina like displays.

     

    Agreed. 

  • Reply 13 of 71
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    pinolo wrote: »
    I plan to be in NYC over new year. Apple better give me some reason to go to the Apple store (besides the 5S of course).

    How about visiting it because it's a beautifully designed store.
  • Reply 14 of 71
    dugbugdugbug Posts: 283member
    If the full size is as lighter and thinner as rumored and has the thinner bezel I'll probably move back to the big boy any way. But the mini is nice
  • Reply 15 of 71
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member

    Once again, the analysts make no sense at all.

     

    If supply and yields are supposedly so low, then why bother to whine about lowering the price? I'm tired of people whining about lowering prices, especially when the article is about Apple not being able to meet demand. 

     

    Hell no. I say that Apple should raise the price of the mini, especially if it's going to come with beefed up internals and a retina display. It'll be in huge demand, even at that higher price point. Bump up the price to at least $349, and that ought to eliminate a few whiners, and it will help with the supply issues, as there won't be enough to go around, even at the higher price. 

  • Reply 16 of 71
    Supply constraints? Maybe. Maybe not. But if there really are supply constraints, don't blame suppliers. Blame Tim Cook. Supply chain control is only thing he's supposed to be good at and he can't even carry that out properly. Larry Page of Google got the HD displays on their Nexus 7 on time. Jeff Bezos of Amazon was able to get the HD displays on their Kindle HDXs on time. Which CEO is going to get their HD panels late? Mr. Tim "Late Again" Cook. It figures. Google's share price is still climbing. Amazon's share price is still climbing like no tomorrow. Tim Cook gives Wall Street another reason to keep Apple's share price in the red for 2013.

    It's getting almost impossible for Apple to give Wall Street any reasons to boost Apple's share price. From an OS that makes users vomit to supply constraints, it's always something getting screwed up at Apple. Tim Cook might as well take the blame because he's the CEO. Apple is sitting on a mountain of cash and can't figure out how to ramp up production quickly enough. It's not like Tim Cook didn't know Christmas was coming this year. There'll be no return of Apple's share price to $700 this year. It will be lucky to get to $500 with a stiff tailwind. Thanks, Tim. You left Apple shareholders holding an empty bag again.
  • Reply 17 of 71
    apple ][ wrote: »
    Once again, the analysts make no sense at all.

    If supply and yields are supposedly so low, then why bother to whine about lowering the price? I'm tired of people whining about lowering prices, especially when the article is about Apple not being able to meet demand. 

    Hell no. I say that Apple should raise the price of the mini, especially if it's going to come with beefed up internals and a retina display. It'll be in huge demand, even at that higher price point. Bump up the price to at least $349, and that ought to eliminate a few whiners, and it will help with the supply issues, as there won't be enough to go around, even at the higher price. 

    Driving people away from your products is not good strategy for success.
  • Reply 18 of 71

    Who says a delayed mini release wasn't the plan all along. Apple certainly never declared any intention to release both a new iPad and mini at the same time. Last year was a first, and arguably the minor iPad 4 update was only intended to get the new connector out. It's just silly for analysts to generalise from that one event.

     

    In the past, Apple *often* released their premium devices (like a MacBook Pro) before the more budget products (like iBooks, remember those :-). This maximises sales of the premium product, instead of giving people a cheaper option at the same time. Wall St. doesn't like this because they think it will reduce the total number of iPads sold, but from Apple's view it skews the distribution of purchases towards higher end (higher profit) products. Apple may simply be saying that if you want to give someone a shiny new iPad for Xmas, then give them the best! And you know what, I bet a large number of people will. For those who can't afford that, the old mini works just fine.

  • Reply 19 of 71
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Captain J View Post





    Driving people away from your products is not good strategy for success.

     

    Apple seems to be doing just fine, and they have raised the price in the past on a few product lines that I can recall, so it wouldn't be without precedent.

     

    There will always be a certain segment of the population that is driven to cheap products like many of the Android tablets available, and Apple has no intention of competing in that space, where margins are either razor thin or nonexistent. Apple will never win over the penny pinchers, and I don't believe that they should attempt to.

  • Reply 20 of 71
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Finally, one person noted Apple is looking to debut a low-cost version of the 7.9-inch tablet, possibly cutting costs by lowering on-board storage to 8GB and sticking with existing internals.



    Wednesday's report lines up perfectly with predictions from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, [...]. In July, the analyst also reported that Apple would introduce a less expensive iPad mini alongside a higher-spec Retina version with a more powerful A-series SoC, enhanced camera and other component upgrades.

     

    Why not Plastic Shell? It would make more sense in that it would outwardly designate the 'class' of device as the same as the iPhone 5c.  

    Granted, the savings aren't that great compared to not using fused champhored glass, but it would less expensive, and likely a savings on a par with dropping from 16 to 8GB.

     

    All said, it's a supply chain rumor.   Reuters and Kuo may be using the same set of sources, and it's really just 2 reports of the same data, and therefore of course they would line up 'perfectly.'

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