As you may have noticed, Apple announced the iPad mini today. Soon after, of course, came the analyst perspective – if there’s a strong demand for the iPad mini device, we may see serious supply issues. This has been rumored already in regards to the aluminum back for the new iPad mini, but this is the first report that a shortage of display units may also have a role to play.
“We’re now starting to see the issues that [Apple] is having with Samsung,” said Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, in an interview with CNET.
Samsung is not supplying displays for iPad mini, according to the analyst, which leaves only two suppliers to make the smaller iPad mini for Apple.
Of the two suppliers that are making the displays for iPad mini, LG Display and AUO, only one is producing the needed volume of units. “The problem is that AUO is a new supplier, and they’re not able to get to the volumes that Apple needs. So, essentially, there’s just one supplier,” Shim said.
According to an earlier blog post, Shim reports that AUO is having yield issues, shipping just over 100,000 units. This may seem like a lot until you realize that the plan is to produce 400,000 units this month, twice that many in November, and a cool 1 million units in December. In contrast, LG Display was able to ship 300,000 panels for the iPad mini last month, with plans to ship 1 million this month and 3 million in December.
“The new low price point is expected to appeal to a wider audience and drive up demand,” Shim wrote on his blog. “However, panel supply chain indications point to an even more than typical tightness in the market for the iPad Mini.”
Do you think Apple is second guessing its choice to jettison Samsung as a production partner?