Supply issues will initially limit the availability of the new iPad min, according to the DisplaySearch research group (www.displaysearch.com).
“As is typical, we expect the iPads to be supply constrained initially, especially the iPad mini with its $329 price,” says analyst Richard Shim. “The new low price point is expected to appeal to a wider audience and drive up demand. However, panel supply chain indications point to an even more than typical tightness in the market for the iPad mini.”
Apple is expanding its supplier base with new partners for the smaller tablet. The company Apple will continue to work with LG Display who is supplying panels to Foxconn for the finished product, and is adding AUO, who will supply panels to Pegatron.
However, AUO is having yield issues with the 7.9-inch panel, which is limiting their supply to Pegatron, and in September, AUO shipped just over 100,000 units, according to DisplaySearch. The production plan is reach 400,000 units in October, 800,000 units November and one million in December. LG Display shipped 300,000 panels in September, and plans to ship one million in October, 2.5 million in November, and three million in December.
“Samsung has been one of the leading panel suppliers for the iPad. In fact, when the new iPad was first released, Samsung was the only supplier that could meet production orders with LG Display gradually ramping up to meet demand,” says Shim. “However, Samsung and Apple appear to be winding down their relationship most likely due to the legal conflicts the two have been embroiled in recently. In previous iPad launches, LG Display and Samsung have been the main panel suppliers with roughly equal panel production.