Apple’s decision to give Samsung Display the boot over the iPad mini may be one that comes back to haunt the Cupertino company. Its tiny tablet is expected to be a smash hit this Christmas, but Apple is said to be battling with supply constraints as one of its two display manufacturers struggles to meet the demand.
Samsung has long been producing iPad displays for Apple, but for the new iPad mini, Apple chose to use LG Display and AU Optronics instead. It’s just one of its moves to distance itself from the Korean electronics giant following their lengthy legal battles. The problem is, AU Optronics is said to be struggling to keep up with Apple’s orders.
DigiTimes reports that LG Display is supplying the vast majority of panels for the iPad mini as AU Optronics “continues to suffer from poor yields in the production of panels for the devices.” Because of these issues, “industry observers” have lowered their estimated iPad mini shipments from 10 million units to 6-8 million units by the end of 2012, according to the report.
Of course, this could become a major issue for Apple as we approach the holiday season. With less than a month to go until Christmas day, the iPad mini is still facing a two week shipping delay via Apple online store.
Having said that, the device isn’t exactly hard to get hold of at Apple retail stores or from third-party suppliers in most regions.
Only time will tell whether these reported display constraints really become a problem for Apple over the next few weeks, then. It’s worth noting that this is a DigiTimes rumor, and that its track record regarding Apple rumors hasn’t been at all reliable in the past.