Tim Cook told us the iPad Pro was the “biggest news in iPad since the original iPad,” but you wouldn’t necessarily know that based on initial availability of the plus-size tablet.
Apple is reportedly experiencing panel shortages for the device, making it likely that iPad Pro shipments will come in at less than 3 million for the last three months of 2015.
The reason for the panel shortage isn’t specified, so we have no way of knowing what the bottleneck might be, assuming this rumor turns out to be correct. Sharp is providing displays for the 12.9-inch iPad, while GIS is responsible for the giant tablet’s touch modules, lamination and LCM assembly. Samsung Display and TPK are reportedly acting as secondary suppliers.
Given that Apple wants to use the iPad Pro to reinvigorate iPad sales, constrained supplies early on would be less than ideal — particularly since there’s no new iPad Air this year to make up the shortfall.
Apple sold 12.3 million iPads in Q4 last year, which represented a decline from the 14.1 million units sold during the same period in 2013.
From a customers’ perspective, 2.5 million to 3 million iPad Pros is still better than none. Still, from an investor’s perspective, it may not be enough. We shall see.